Industry group urges transition to hydrogen-fuelled transport in Ireland

9 Aug 2022

Minister Eamon Ryan, TD, with Jonathan Hogan from Hydrogen Mobility Ireland. Image: Hydrogen Mobility Ireland

A report from Hydrogen Mobility Ireland estimates a 2.6pc drop in carbon emissions could be achieved this decade with a shift to hydrogen across transport.

A new white paper recommends the deployment of hydrogen across transport in Ireland to propel the country’s transition to net-zero emissions.

The push for hydrogen-fuelled transport comes in the context of the ambitious targets set out in the EU’s Fit for 55 package as well as Ireland’s own Climate Action Plan and the need to diversify the country’s energy supply.

“The sooner that we implement a national hydrogen strategy, the sooner we will transition away from fossil fuels, towards a low-carbon economy,” said Jonathan Hogan, business manager at Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI).

The report from HMI estimates that the deployment of hydrogen across transport in Ireland could result in a 2.6pc drop in carbon emissions by 2030.

It suggests that the efforts of other European nations to shift towards hydrogen could be a model for Ireland, which recently opened a public consultation on the development of a national hydrogen strategy.

Countries such as France, Portugal and Germany have already allocated billions in investment for hydrogen production. The HMI report suggests that a proportional investment from Ireland could see 6,000 hydrogen-fuelled vehicles hit the road by 2030.

The report was launched alongside research into the benefits of green hydrogen as a renewable energy source. ‘Green hydrogen’ refers to hydrogen that has been produced using renewable electricity.

Members of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland include Toyota, Maxol, Hyundai, Energia, ESB, Bord na Móna and Gas Networks Ireland.

HMI also estimates that CO2 emissions from heavy goods vehicles could be completely eliminated through a hydrogen transition and that thousands of jobs could be created in hydrogen production.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Eamon Ryan, TD, was on hand to launch the report. “Moving to cleaner and greener technologies is critical if we are to reduce the carbon footprint of our public transport system and examining all available technologies is essential,” he said.

“It is vital that Ireland should realise the full potential of green hydrogen in decarbonising our economy and energy and transport systems, and we are taking important steps to achieve this.”

Ryan added that he hopes to see a national hydrogen strategy published by the end of the year. This is among the more immediate needs identified by the HMI report, which also includes medium and long-term recommendations.

“The publication of our policy papers, and the opening of the public consultation on a national hydrogen strategy serves as a noted example of how Government and industry can work in true partnership to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time,” said Hogan.

Earlier this year, Clean Hydrogen Partnership director Bart Biebuyck told SiliconRepublic.com that Ireland had the potential to become a ‘hydrogen valley’ in the EU.

In November, Minister Ryan will address Ireland’s first hydrogen conference, which will be held in Dublin.

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com