The National Hydrogen Strategy, issued last week has been welcomed by various bodies, stakeholders and politicians as it sets out the strategic vision on the role that hydrogen will play in Ireland’s energy system, looking to its long-term role as a key component of a zero-carbon economy, and the short-term actions that need to be delivered over the coming years to enable the development of the hydrogen sector in Ireland.
The Strategy is being developed for three primary reasons:
- Decarbonising our economy,providing a solution too hard to decarbonise sectors where electrification is not feasible, or cost-effective
- Enhancing our energy security,through the development of an indigenous zero carbon renewable fuel which can act as an alternative to the 77% of our energy system which today relies on fossil fuel imports
- Developing industrial opportunities,through the potential development of export markets for renewable hydrogen and other areas such as Sustainable Aviation Fuels
The Strategy considers the needs of the entire hydrogen value chain including production, end-uses, transportation and storage, safety, regulation, markets, innovation, and skills.
It also sets out that Ireland will focus its efforts on the scale up and production of renewable “green” hydrogen, as it supports both our decarbonisation needs and energy security needs, given our vast indigenous renewable resources. Renewable hydrogen is a renewable and zero-carbon fuel that can play a key role in the “difficult-to-decarbonise” sectors of our economy, where other solutions such as direct electrification are not feasible or cost effective.
In the coming years renewable hydrogen is envisioned to play an important role as a zero-emission source of dispatchable flexible electricity, as a long duration store of renewable energy, in decarbonising industrial processes, and as a transport fuel in sectors such as heavy goods transport, maritime and aviation. The Strategy will provide clarity for stakeholders on how we expect the hydrogen economy to develop and scale up over the coming decades, across the entire value chain.
Download National Hydrogen Strategy
Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, see further potential with Ireland’s National Hydrogen Strategy. “The strategy sets out ambitious objectives to achieve decarbonisation of the economy, ensure energy security, and seize industrial opportunities by establishing export markets for renewable hydrogen and Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF),” he stated.
“The strategy’s comprehensive approach encompasses the entire hydrogen value chain, addressing crucial aspects such as production, end-uses, transportation and storage, safety regulations, market dynamics, innovation, and skill development.
For Ireland, wind energy remains our most available and reliable resource. This sector will be vital for Ireland, but if we combine this with green hydrogen production, the country could undergo a transformative shift towards a low-carbon and competitive economy,” added Mr. Kelly.
“Having championed the need for an Irish Hydrogen Strategy for many years, I am pleased to see its arrival, although I would have preferred it to come sooner. Nevertheless, it is undeniably a significant step forward.”
One of the Strategy’s key highlights is Ireland’s commitment to prioritize the scaling up and production of green hydrogen, tapping into the nation’s abundant indigenous renewable resources. The Strategy provides stakeholders with a clear roadmap for the development and expansion of the hydrogen economy across the value chain in the coming decades. It ensures the sustainable growth of Ireland’s renewable energy sector while creating new opportunities for economic prosperity and technological innovation.
MEP Kelly highlighted the fact that “many people in Kerry were upset about the Minister’s personal intervention in the planning application of the proposed LNG terminal”. However, he added that “the Ireland South region is a prime location for hydrogen production, the deep waters of the Shannon Estuary and Foynes Port are ideally located for example. This area in particular should be a focus for government action to spur regional industrial ecosystems.”
The Irish Hydrogen Strategy marks a crucial turning point in Ireland’s journey towards a sustainable and competitive economy.