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Develop Training prepares with Northern Gas Networks for a fully hydrogen-powered future

Leading provider of Compliance, Technical and Safety training, Develop Training has been working in partnership with Northern Gas Networks (NGN) in preparation for a transition to a fully hydrogen-fuelled future.

Whilst a full transition is not expected in the immediate future, hydrogen has seen a gradual increase in popularity since the release of a 2016 report by NGN that concluded a total conversion to hydrogen was technically and economically viable. This led to NGN receiving funding from the government innovation programme Hy4Heat to develop two fully hydrogen-powered example homes.

Following their completion in 2021, two Develop Training employees recently visited NGN’s hydrogen-fuelled homes at the company’s Low Thornley site, near Gateshead. The employees used the visit to observe first-hand the complex training needs required for a potential transition to hydrogen as a fuel source.

A hydrogen gas supply could offer the most cost effective and least invasive route to zero carbon home heating for many UK homes. Whilst hydrogen is considered a clean fuel, it is however also a more volatile energy source than natural gas, requiring employees at companies such as NGN to undergo bespoke training should its widespread installation be required.

Develop Training has a foundation of offering gas compliance and safety certification training and is now working with NGN to anticipate the potential training required, by both NGN and the wider industry, for implementing a hydrogen-fuelled future.

NGN’s hydrogen homes are fitted with hydrogen gas appliances, including cookers and hobs, fires and boilers and a hydrogen meter. The appliances all operate and work to the same purposes as their natural gas counterparts, however one noticeable difference is the flame on the hob burns orange rather than blue.

Nichola Kitching, key account manager at Develop Training said: “At Develop Training we want to make sure that we’re ready to support Northern Gas Networks’ training needs as they advance forwards with hydrogen. As the leaders in this field, a visit to their hydrogen homes was certainly exciting.

“Inside those homes we got real insight into how fluid the transition to hydrogen could be for consumers, but also the many barriers and challenges that installers will face behind the scenes. Hydrogen is going to be a very big part of the future; I can safely say both us and Northern Gas Networks are doing our best to be ready for it.”

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