European ‘Hydrogen Triple Alliance’ formed to boost renewable tech

24 Aug 2020488 Views

Concept image of a hydrogen fuel tank. Image: © AA+W/Stock.adobe.com

Three projects with operations in Ireland have formed a new alliance to further boost hydrogen fuel technology development across Europe.

Three European hydrogen energy projects – including researchers from the island of Ireland – have announced the formation of the Hydrogen Triple Alliance. The group aims to increase the availability of hydrogen as a renewable source for transportation, energy and industry across the continent.

Hydrogen fuel is expected to play a major part in global carbon emissions reduction by offering an alternative fuel source for some of the most polluting sectors such as transport and industry. It is produced by splitting water into oxygen and energy-rich hydrogen, which is then collected and stored in fuel cells.

‘This is the start of a European-wide hydrogen highway’
– PAUL MCCORMACK

The groups forming the Hydrogen Triple Alliance include GenComm led by Belfast Metropolitan College as well as SeaFuel and Huge, two projects that include researchers and engineers from NUI Galway and Aran Islands Energy. The integration of the three projects, the groups said, will lead to major international change and could potentially fast-track the sector coupling of renewables, allowing expansion of renewables investment across Europe.

“We must deliver hydrogen equity in order that all of Europe can fully realise the benefits of green hydrogen,” said GenComm’s programme manager, Paul McCormack.

“This Hydrogen Triple Alliance is the start of a European-wide hydrogen highway; collaborating and sharing research, results and ensuring all can reap the benefits of a zero-carbon energy system.”

European hydrogen strategy

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The alliance will also enlarge the Community Hydrogen Forum founded in 2016 to share information, experience and best practice of how communities and projects are deploying hydrogen across north-west Europe.

This comes after the European Commission announced the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance which aims to build up an investment pipeline for scaled-up production and will support demand for clean hydrogen in the EU.

The new EU Hydrogen Strategy sets out a number of targets over the coming decade. These include installing at least 6GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers in the EU between now and 2024 to produce 1m tonnes of hydrogen.

Between 2025 and 2030, the EU aims to build 40GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers to produce up to 10m tonnes of hydrogen.

Ireland’s own hydrogen efforts include groups such as Hydrogen Mobility Ireland launched last year. Made up of Government representatives, auto manufacturers, researchers, industry and the ESB, the consortium believes in an ideal scenario there would be a national hydrogen-powered fleet of 2,000 HGVs, 880 bus and coaches, 6,800 vans and 29,000 cars by 2030.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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