Hydrogen development must be ramped up in line with EU policy

Hydrogen Ireland Conference focused on enhancing energy security and diversity

One of the country’s leading hydrogen experts says now is the time to realise the wide-ranging benefits offered by the versatile carbon free gas.

Speaking at the launch of the inaugural Hydrogen Ireland Conference today, Gas Networks Ireland Hydrogen Programme Manager, Dr Andrea Ahern, said current events affecting Ireland’s climate and economy mean now is the time to act.

“Hydrogen can reduce carbon emissions across a number of key sectors while also enhancing Ireland’s energy security and diversity,” Dr Ahern said.

“Ireland’s national gas network is one of the safest and most modern renewables-ready gas networks in the world. It’s a ready-made decarbonisation solution that can be leveraged to accommodate biomethane made from farm and food waste and hydrogen produced from offshore wind.”

Hydrogen can be made from renewable electricity through a process known as electrolysis and stored until needed, making it an attractive option to decarbonise the Irish energy system.

It is also a strong example of how greater integration between Ireland’s gas and electricity networks can support a low carbon economy.

With Ireland’s significant onshore and offshore wind resources, the potential for Irish made green hydrogen is very high.

“We can enable national decarbonisation at size and scale by connecting indigenously produced hydrogen with customers and markets across the island of Ireland, but we must act now in line with national and EU policy,” Dr Ahern said.

Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, will be the keynote speaker at the Hydrogen Ireland Conference which will take place at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Dublin, on November 22 and 23.

The event is being launched just days after the government announced 2GW of hydrogen production from offshore wind and launched of an eight-week public consultation period as part of the process of developing a National Hydrogen Strategy.

Hydrogen Ireland is an all-island organisation which works to promote the role of hydrogen and fuel cells as key components of a future low carbon economy.

Chairperson Paul McCormack said he is looking forward to seeing the Government’s vision.

“Given the heat extremes seen just this month, the rising cost of living and the pressures on supply because of international factors and our reliance on imports, it has never been more important to realise and maximise the potential offered by hydrogen,” Mr McCormac said.

For more details on the conference, check out www.h2irl.com.