Firstgas Group has announced plans for the decarbonisation of its gas pipeline network in New Zealand.
Hydrogen will be blended into the North Island natural gas network from 2030, with conversion to a 100% hydrogen grid by 2050.
This will be supported by biogas and bioLPG to offer emissions reductions for all gas users.
Firstgas has confirmed that its networks can deliver sufficient hydrogen to decarbonise the natural gas network within 30 years.
Hydrogen blends of up to 20% reduce the carbon emissions of natural gas users without requiring any change to existing appliances. The blends can be phased in regionally from 2030.
The conversion of networks to 100% hydrogen gas will begin from 2035, allowing time to plan for appliance replacements that can operate on pure hydrogen.
It is expected that hydrogen will substantially replace fossil fuels for ‘hard to abate’ emissions – those where electrification is not possible.
This means gas users can meet the objectives of the Zero Carbon Act without resorting to electrification or carbon offsets, and without the need to replace their current gas equipment.
Paul Goodeve, Firstgas Group CEO, said the announcement was a major milestone for Firstgas Group, the gas industry and gas customers.
He said: “I know many New Zealanders have been unsettled by some proposals about the future of gas. We’ve been challenged by that, and we’re meeting that challenge.
“The benefits of gas are here to stay in a cleaner future of zero carbon gas.”
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