BDR Thermea’s pioneering work in developing heating solutions that use hydrogen as a clean, safe and versatile fuel has taken an important step forward in the Netherlands. A pilot project has just gone live in the town of Uithoorn, where 14 vacant houses have been adapted to test domestic heating systems running on zero-emission hydrogen fuel.
The existing natural gas network in this test community has been adapted to carry hydrogen via our BDR Thermea Hydrogen Boiler – the first 100% hydrogen boiler in the world. This experiment will give us important experience in converting existing gas networks and testing hydrogen in domestic heating, without disturbing local residents or the surroundings.
It’s not the first time BDR Thermea has tested hydrogen in domestic heating. Since the summer of 2019, we have been testing the first real-life application of the BDR Thermea Hydrogen boiler in the Dutch town of Rozenburg.
Research like this is critical to help achieve the Dutch government’s CO2 reduction targets and its 2050 goal to stop using natural gas in homes. Heating homes with carbon-free hydrogen is one of the most promising solutions, as it can be distributed using the existing gas grid. To test the possibilities of this sustainable energy solution and explore how to re-configure local gas networks, we will increasingly see pilot studies underway in special "hydrogen neighbourhoods".
On top of this, we are also helping homeowners take steps towards cleaner heating with a new breed of ‘hydrogen-ready’ boilers. These boilers can work on natural gas, but can be converted to hydrogen relatively easily in the future. This would be a practical solution for households in neighbourhoods that make the switch to hydrogen – meaning they don’t need to buy a new boiler.
It is expected that our hydrogen-ready and 100% hydrogen central heating boilers will be available by 2023, depending on market development and demand. Currently, even though the boilers are not yet on the market, they are available for selected demonstrations and field trials.
Of course, there will be more than one solution in the energy transition. We firmly believe our energy supply should be a mix in which there is room for different energy carriers, including hydrogen. The energy transition will take several roads, and BDR Thermea Group will be there to ease the journey with pioneering solutions and partnerships.