FutureGrid is an ambitious programme which seeks to build a hydrogen test facility in Northern England


Achieving the UK’s Net Zero targets will require decarbonisation across the whole energy system. Sectors such as heat are difficult to decarbonise, and the importance of the National Transmission System (NTS) to the UK’s current energy supply means we need to consider how to deliver low carbon energy, reliably and safely to all consumers. Existing research suggests that hydrogen could be an alternative to natural gas, but there are several knowledge gaps that need addressing.

We’ve been awarded funding through the Network Innovation Competition for our FutureGrid project, to look at the possibility of converting the NTS to transport hydrogen.


Introducing FutureGrid

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About the project

The facility will be built from a range of decommissioned transmission assets, to create a representative whole-network which will be used to trial hydrogen and will allow for accurate results to be analysed. Blends of hydrogen up to 100% will then be tested at transmission pressures, to assess how the assets perform.

The hydrogen research facility will remain separate from the main National Transmission System, allowing for testing to be undertaken in a controlled environment, with no risk to the safety and reliability of the existing gas transmission network.

Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition will provide £9.07m of funding with the remaining amount coming from the project partners.

The aim is to start construction in 2021 with testing beginning in 2022.

Antony Green, Project Director for Hydrogen at National Grid says:

Today’s announcement is a major step forward and shows Ofgem’s commitment to net zero investment. If we truly want to reach a net zero decarbonised future, we need to replace methane with green alternatives like hydrogen. Sectors such as heat are difficult to decarbonise, and the importance of the gas networks to the UK’s current energy supply means projects like this are crucial if we are to deliver low carbon energy, reliably and safely to all consumers.

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Floating hydrogen molecule bubbles

The future of hydrogen

Hydrogen can be used to power vehicles, generate electricity, power industry and heat our homes and businesses. It could make a huge difference on our carbon emissions, and will be critical to achieving net zero.

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Events and resources


Watch our videos to learn more about the FutureGrid project.

FutureGrid: exploring hydrogen as a fuel of the future

Steel pipes

Constructing the test facility:

FutureGrid project progress report:


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Our project partners

Read our stories

Ofgem green-lights funding for net zero projects

Our FutureGrid project to test how we might safely introduce hydrogen into our gas network and a project to upgrade powerlines to deliver more power and less emissions have received £17.17m funding from Ofgem.

How can hydrogen be used as a fuel for the future?

Hydrogen is a clean and abundant alternative to methane, also known as natural gas. Here, we explain how hydrogen will be an essential element in our greener gas future.

World’s first hydrogen heated construction site

Helping to demonstrate how hydrogen can be the heating fuel of the future, our Viking Link project in Lincolnshire has become the first construction site in the world to use hydrogen cells for all its heat and power.

Hydrogen molecule atom abstract structure - 640x360.jpg

Hydrogen: Testing the heating fuel of the FutureGrid

To reach net zero by 2050, we need to find new ways to heat the UK’s homes and businesses. Hydrogen could be central to this and a new test facility will look at how hydrogen might work within the existing gas network.