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Leeds should be the first city in the UK to convert its gas grid to hydrogen to help meet carbon reduction targets, BBC News reports.

 Northern Gas Networks (NGN) claims a nationwide move away from methane to a hydrogen grid was “technically possible and economically viable”. The gas distributor said conversion could start in Leeds by 2026, with estimated costs of £2bn. The city has been selected due to its “size and location”, the report said.

 The H21 Leeds City Gate report said more than 30% of all UK carbon emissions were from domestic heating and cooking, with a conversion to hydrogen reducing heat emissions by “a minimum of 73%”.

 Existing underground gas pipes could be used and household appliances could be converted to run on hydrogen, it added. Instead of burning methane and releasing carbon into the atmosphere, the process would remove the carbon and store it in “appropriate geological storage locations” under the North Sea. The remaining hydrogen, which emits no carbon dioxide when burnt, would then be used for domestic energy, NGN said.

 Dan Sadler, from NGN, said: “This is a major opportunity for our country to become a world leader in hydrogen technology and decarbonisation and would create thousands of new jobs across the UK.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, said: “Transforming Leeds into a hydrogen city would be a bold step.