Aiming to promote the role of hydrogen and fuel cells as key components in a future low carbon economy, the Hydrogen Ireland Association was launched in March 2019.
Borne out of frustration with seeing progress for hydrogen across Europe but very little happening in Ireland, the association brings together industry, universities, research institutes and policy makers to create a voice and forum for the hydrogen community on the island of Ireland.
Under the overarching umbrella of the European Hydrogen Association and Hydrogen Europe, Hydrogen Ireland will raise the profile of hydrogen and drive policy change, helping to secure clean sustainable energy for Ireland.
“Ireland has a very unique relationship with hydrogen,” Hydrogen Ireland co-founder Dr. James Carton (pictured left) explains to H2 View.
“There is no steam methane reforming (SMR) production on the island because of limited oil refining and no steel or fertiliser industry, which is very different compared to other EU countries.”
“Industrial requirements are supplied by one electrolysis plant in Dublin or it is imported.”
“Match this with Ireland’s penetration of renewable wind, which on average is 40% and sometimes 65% of electronical supply, and there is huge potential for hydrogen to manage this energy and decarbonise difficult sectors such as transport or heating.”
“Our hydrogen price is not set by SMR which I see as an opportunity. We can do interesting things in Ireland!”
Assistant Professor in Energy Sustainability and Hydrogen Technology in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Dublin City University, Carton is convinced of the important role of hydrogen in a future energy mix.
“We must realise there is no silver bullet, the energy system of the future will be a mix of many technologies, but hydrogen can play an important role in our journey to a zero carbon, zero emissions, healthy, 1.5°C or better future,” he highlights.
Hydrogen Ireland might be a young association, but it’s certainly not lacking in ambition.
“We hope to achieve the establishment of a hydrogen economy on the island, through management of renewable energy and its utilisation in zero emissions transport and grid injected to assist the decarbonisation of electricity and heating,” Carton tells H2 View.
“Hydrogen is a flexible zero carbon carrier for; renewable energy storage, heat, mobility, industry or converted to or blended with methane in the gas grid.”
“Hydrogen Ireland Association supports all these, from communities to industry.”
The association’s key aims are:
- To promote the role of hydrogen as a clean fuel and energy vector on the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland).
- To contribute to the introduction of sustainable clean technologies and processes for the benefit to safeguard the interest of members and citizens through the promotion, use and development of safe hydrogen technology.
“Over the past few years in starting to talk and meet people, we soon realised an undercurrent of interest in hydrogen technology from mobility, industry, energy and community representatives, who saw hydrogen as a potential opportunity. I think we’ve only really scratched the surface,” Carton says.
“Hydrogen Ireland’s launch event was supported by a number of industry, academic and hydrogen project partners and was a resounding success. We have seen our association grow immensely since and we look forward to what the future brings.”