Paul McCormack, Programme Manager of the €12 million EU Hydrogen project, ‘GenComm’ has welcomed movement on the Irish government hydrogen strategy. The national hydrogen strategy is going to public consultation with an eight week period for stakeholders to make submissions.
Mr McCormack said this week: “Hydrogen is a game changing technology for Ireland on our journey to net zero. Globally the energy transition is projected to deliver substantial new opportunities for employment, with 14 million jobs created by 2030 thanks to new activities and investment in clean energy.
“Ireland must accelerate the clean energy transition, promote a circular economic approach, transition to sustainable supply chains and mainstream renewables. A successful transition to net zero will depend upon developing a skilled workforce necessary to deliver it, in a way that leaves no one behind. To achieve this we must build on the skills and knowledge in transition sectors specifically the built environment. We must develop new labour markets for decent work and quality green jobs as well as investing in pioneering digitalisation as a key delivery model. News of this consultation period means we have significant movement.
“There is great potential in Ireland with the use of hydrogen. Indeed Germany’s Hydrogen Commissioner visited Ireland in October 2021 to learn about our market. GenComm itself is the first hydrogen supply chain on the island of Ireland. We saw the potential of a hydrogen highway across Europe with Ireland being part of that. “
Speaking at the Energy Ireland event in Dublin on June 30, Dr Rory Monaghan, from GenComm Partner NUIG, said: “We could become a hydrogen exporter through ships or pipelines. Irish green hydrogen could meet 20% of EU aviation fuel demand or 25% of EU shipping fuel demand.”
Two vital outputs of GenComm are the EST, (Enabling Support Tool) and the Community Hydrogen Forum. The EST informs the user on the role of hydrogen in decarbonising public transport. The Community Hydrogen Forum is the key platform for local, regional and national governments and agencies . Communities and energy agencies can also benefit in terms of sustainability, decarbonisation and regional development.
Paul McCormack added: “We have already seen the shift towards hydrogen on this island in terms of energy, transport and power. Hydrogen buses are running in our main cities as we speak. Three of our GenComm partners. NUIG, DCU and Hy Energy published a report into the opportunities presented by hydrogen that was incorporated into the NI Energy Strategy last year. Now with this latest news in Dublin we are all going in the same direction, the right direction.
“Green Hydrogen is a clean energy vector that produces no direct emissions, pollutants or greenhouse gases. It is light, storable, energy-dense and has many energy end use options to help us meet our net zero goals. Despite the global enthusiasm we still have to develop a cohesive deployment pathway for hydrogen optimisation in Ireland. In order to 'mainstream' this energy vector and to ensure extensive use we must overcome the significant obstacles that currently inhibit the widespread deployment of hydrogen.”