Hydrogen gas / heating pump / solar panels

I've started to explore alternative energy and looked at hydrogen gas and heat pumps.
They're hydrogen gas boilers on the market for the same price as natural gas ones, using the same principle.
Would a hydrogen gas generator be enough to produce what we need for home ?!
Heat pumps would involve a bigger investment as far as can understand.
Are there other suitable and convenient options to replace gas heating and electricity from the main grid?
I spoke to someone who installed solar panels a couple of years ago and the investment was meant to be returned in about 20 years. With the recent energy price increase, I presume would be less but is still worth the investment?
Many thanks 


  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Forumite Posts: 7,055
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    It rather depends on how you generate the hydrogen.  The cheapest method is to convert methane into hydrogen and carbon dioxide.  But that's not exactly green (because of the carbon dioxide), and you end up with less energy than was in the methane.  So it's pretty pointless.

    The alternative is electrolysis of water.  Using solar panels, you would end up with more hydrogen than you know what to do with in the summer, and nowhere near enough in winter.  So you need a massive hydrogen tank in the back garden.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • lohr500
    lohr500 Forumite Posts: 782
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I have zero knowledge of hydrogen production or storage. But every bone in my body says it won't be cost effective for a single user to generate and then pressurise and store enough hydrogen cost effectively to run a domestic gas fuelled boiler.

    If you want to look at greener alternatives to gas that are available off the shelf today, then heat pumps and biomass would seem to be the way forward, supplemented by solar, wind and battery storage.

    Personally, I do worry about any of the alternatives when the payback runs into much more than 10 years. I have big concerns over the longer term reliability and maintenance costs for things like wind generators, battery arrays and even heat pumps.
    Perhaps as adoption increases, capital costs will reduce.  
  • mumf
    mumf Forumite Posts: 539
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Hydrogen heating on the scale that the Eco fantasists tell us will cure our energy woes ,is just that.A fantasy. 
  • canaldumidi
    canaldumidi Forumite Posts: 3,511
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Off topic (sorry) but the more I read about alternative energy sources, the costs/benefits etc, the more it seems to me the answer is to get away from single property energy use/production.

    Community systems surely are the way forward, whether based on wind, solar, heat pumps (or even hydrogen?) or a combination. But we are obsessed with individulism, and with not being exploited by our neighbours (eg using more community energy than we do).
    With all the new estates being constantly built everywhere, why is energy production and use not planned on a per estate basis instead of per property?
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