A world-first as BDR Thermea Group heats historic homes with 100% hydrogen boilers
Last week we’ve launched the world-first pilot using our 100% hydrogen boilers – manufactured by our Dutch brand Remeha – in 12 inhabited historic homes, with hydrogen supplied via an existing natural gas grid.
Our pioneering pilot in the eastern Dutch town of Lochem is the first time that hydrogen heating is being tested at this scale anywhere in the world. The detached listed houses, all built around 1900, will each be equipped with one of the boilers, which burn pure hydrogen with zero carbon emissions. The hydrogen is fed into the existing gas grid at a nearby industrial zone.
A collaboration between Remeha and grid operator Alliander, the pilot will run for three years, ensuring extensive testing in wintertime, when heat demand peaks. The houses were deliberately chosen as older residential housing stock, with restrictions to the changes that can be made to them due to their heritage status.
Heating of buildings and water contributes significantly to energy use and CO2 emissions: space heating accounts for 63.6% and water heating 14.8% of EU residential energy use. Decarbonising buildings is therefore an urgent imperative, and hydrogen can one of the energy carriers to do this, alongside heat networks, all-electric heat pumps and hybrid solutions that twin heat pumps with gas boilers.
Mix of heating technologies
Recent research commissioned by the European Heating Industry and published by consultancy firm Guidehouse shows that a mix of heating technologies is the fastest way to cut natural-gas consumption in 2030 by 45%, and would generate an aggregated cost benefit of more than EUR 520 billion by 2050.
Heat pumps play a key role in decarbonising heating and are perfect for well-insulated houses and newbuilds. Hybrids can reduce carbon emissions quickly in less-insulated existing buildings, reducing gas use by up to 70%. In time, the remaining gas use can be cut by using renewable gases, such as green hydrogen.
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