Using hydrogen for heating is logical, according to a guest speaker at the latest Rumford Club dinner held last month in London.
In a heated debate, Tommy Isaac, former head of hydrogen research at Progressive Energy, and now at KPMG Energy, said hydrogen was a significant player in the energy mix and had a number of benefits.
He added that the UK has a great geological advantage, with a huge capacity to convert onshore gas storage to hydrogen, and emphasised hydrogen’s potential as a storage medium for large-scale industrial use.
Isaac told the audience: ‘There aren’t many options on the table; hydrogen is the conclusion with the most logic. The hydrogen industry is already pretty big, but hydrogen for home heating is new and exciting.’
However, dissenting voices in the audience expressed reservations about hydrogen’s inefficiency and low energy density, storage challenges, and the environmental costs associated with its production and disposal.
One member raised concern about the oil and gas industry’s influence on hydrogen schemes and was suspicious of its short-term profit motives. He called for a focus on developing better technologies instead of investing in what he deemed a distraction.
Isaac said consumer choice and commercial frameworks would ultimately drive the balance between hydrogen and electricity.
He emphasised the need for a diverse energy mix and the importance of keeping all options on the table until there is sufficient evidences.
The Rumford Club holds engineering debates and dinners throughout the year.