Research on East Anglia’s Offshore Hydrogen Potential Kicks Off

Hydrogen East has kicked off a new research study to explore the potential for hydrogen production off the coast of East Anglia in the UK.

The Bacton Energy Hub: Exploring the potential for hydrogen from the Southern North Sea will research options and scenarios to bring together the region’s offshore wind and offshore gas sectors to produce clean hydrogen at scale for cleaner power, heat and transport fuels.

The study will provide a map of existing offshore and onshore energy-related infrastructure and develop options and scenarios for where wind farms, gas platforms, subsea pipelines and cables could be integrated or repurposed over time to support hydrogen production, with the Bacton terminal on North Norfolk’s coast being used for injection into the national grid.

It is the first phase of a potential three-part project, comprising a scoping, indicative market assessment, and initial feasibility and options study; options development, detailed project definition, and concept engineering studies; as well as establishment of demonstration project(s) with funding and partnering arrangements, supported by a detailed net zero-based engineering pathway for the Bacton Energy Hub.

The study is being co-funded by OGTC, ORE Catapult, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, and North Norfolk District Council, with support from New Anglia Energy, Opergy, and Xodus Group.

A virtual event will be held on 8 April to update stakeholders on project progress, and ongoing work of other Hydrogen East workstreams.

This regional study is also expected to help inform the UK Hydrogen Strategy that the government plans to publish later this year.

“Developing the options for a potential Bacton Energy Hub will help to facilitate and accelerate the transition towards net zero emissions,” said Nigel Cornwall, Co-founder of Hydrogen East and a Director at New Anglia Energy.

“It is a key regional project, which could realise extensive potential benefits both in terms of supporting delivery of the Local Industrial Strategy and the stated aim of enabling Norfolk and Suffolk to become the UK’s Clean Growth Region. It will contribute to Hydrogen East’s driving objective of Norfolk and Suffolk becoming a significant regional hydrogen economy.”

Photo: The Bacton Terminal on the North Norfolk Coast. Credits to Mike Page