Decarbonisation Technology August 2022 issue

HyNet: a case study on industrial symbiosis

How a collaboration of over 30 organisations across different industries can work together to transition to a low-carbon economy

Chris Manson-Whitton Progressive Energy

H yNet is a project creating the transporting, and storing low-carbon hydrogen. HyNet is a decarbonisation cluster – a project designed to remove and reduce carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions from a regional industrial hub that produces economic output and, subsequently, emits CO₂. HyNet and similar clusters across the UK connect companies that generate CO 2 and companies that can use low- carbon hydrogen to displace fossil fuel sources such as natural gas. HyNet is a case study on new industrial networks that together can transition to a low-carbon economy. infrastructure for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and producing, Background Progressive Energy was formed in 1998 to deliver hydrogen and CCS clusters and is the architect of HyNet. In this article, HyNet is used as a case study on how a collaboration of over 30 organisations across different industries can work together to deliver an outcome. A perspective on UK energy consumption Have you ever thought about how much energy

it takes to produce ordinary household tasks? As a consumer, the task of boiling a kettle, a menial element of a Briton’s day, uses on average 2-3 kWh of energy, roughly equivalent to someone climbing the stairs to the top of the Empire State Building! A household gas boiler uses 10 times that energy to provide heating and hot water. The production of energy can be taken for granted. From a national perspective, the UK is one of the world leaders in offshore wind. In 2021, it generated over 30 TWh of electricity from offshore wind, against the UK electricity demand of around 300 TWh. Beyond electricity, natural gas supplies around 600 TWh of our energy, while 800 TWh comes from petroleum products. Thus, while the UK is a world leader in offshore wind, 30 TWh is only 10% of our electricity consumption and just 2% of our total energy flows of 1740 TWh (see Figure 1 ). Rightly, the UK plans a massive expansion of offshore wind, but a five-fold expansion would still only make 10% of our total energy flow. So, the question is, how do we fill the gap? Progressive Energy believes we need renewable energy. For renewables to take a

Five-fold expansion by 2030

A major energy gap to ll – this needs a proper transition

Electricity Electricity Electricity Electricity


Misc Misc Misc

Natural gas Natural gas







50% 60%



90% 100%

Figure 1 Anchoring energy – the UK picture in 2021


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