Irish island makes the case for a green hydrogen future

  • The Valentia Island Energy Co-operative has made the case for transforming Ireland's energy consumption through offshore wind and hydrogen production.

    Countries across Europe have committed to significant carbon-neutral targets and are now racing to replace fossil fuels such as coal and oil with renewable energy from wind and solar. Renewable sources can produce inconsistent output, and so many the ideal solution is to store excess energy when output is high and release it later when output is low.

    Another challenge of converting to a completely fossil-fuel-free economy is that there are still millions of vehicles on the road burning petrol. Hydrogen technology has the potential to solve all of these problems, and hydrogen-powered busses are already being trialed in Dublin and Belfast.

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    The Valentia Island Energy Co-operative has announced plans to embrace offshore hydrogen production in order to decarbonise Ireland's energy needs. Ireland is in the rare position of having abundant wind and large suitable areas for offshore wind farms, which could be used to generate hydrogen from water by electrolysis.

    It's estimated that over 30GW of floating wind generation capacity could be feasibly built in the deep waters off the west coast of Ireland in the next 15-20 years, which can be used to power hydrogen production for export via new pipelines. The east coast of Ireland can use normal offshore wind technology for the same purpose, with enough capacity available there to export energy and hydrogen to Ireland, the UK, and large parts of Europe.

    Colum O Connell of the Valentia Island Energy Co-operative said: "Up until 1966 Valentia was a hub for global communication. The opportunity to produce green hydrogen in the water off Valentia, will mean Valentia can once again become a global hub in the future, but this time in sustainable energy. Innovation is alive and well in Valentia."

    RELATED: Belfast Met joins major European hydrogen energy project alliance

    The co-operative has built a coalition of hydrogen technology experts, tech providers, and third level institutions to plan their ambitious goals. The group says it has local community support for its plans, which could create thousands of new energy tech sector jobs over the next several years in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    Joe Scott, CEO of the Clean Power Hydrogen Group commented: "CPH2 will this year be setting up manufacturing plants in ROI and NI to produce our Membrane Free Electrolysers. Projected jobs 1500-2000 directly employed and 2000-3000 jobs in sub-contracting over the next five-six years."

    Source: Written based on press release


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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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