Belfast Met leading the way in emerging technology deployment – delivering green collar jobs

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  • Belfast Metropolitan College’s Springvale Campus played host today to the official launch of the North West Europe Interreg funded €9.39M GenComm project.

    The Lord Mayor of Belfast Nuala McAllister, as well as partner organisations involved in the project, attended the launch of the project, which aims to answer the energy sustainability challenges facing remote communities across North-West Europe through production and storage of renewable hydrogen.

    The innovative GenComm project led by Belfast Metropolitan College with nine other EU partners will develop hybrid hydrogen technology pilots from renewable technologies including wind, bio and solar. The project will play a key role on the international stage and help drive the EU's transformation to a low-carbon energy system.

    Councillor Nuala McAllister Lord Mayor of Belfast stated: “I would like to congratulate Belfast Met and its European partners for leading and securing such an innovative and pioneering smart energy storage demonstration project. We know that energy security and the transition to the low carbon economy is a major issue for this region, which is heavily dependent on fossil fuel energy. We absolutely need cheaper, cleaner alternative sources of power to secure inward investment, create wealth and job security.

    Belfast has a proud history of world-class innovative and industrious engineering from the shipbuilding, aircraft and linen industries. It is wonderful to see that these pioneering engineering skills are still here, and can be deployed to advance the smart power revolution, which is upon us. This opens a new industrial chapter for the city, its citizens and the region.”

    The project will demonstrate the commercial maturity of hydrogen technologies by implementing three pilot plants, linking the three main northwest European renewable sources, Solar Power, Wind Power and Bioenergy, with energy storage and the main forms of energetic demand; heat, power and transportation fuels. The ultimate goal of the project is, through the combination of sources and forms of demand, to lead NWE’s road to sustainability while granting hydrogen its position as a commercially viable energy medium for the future.

    Dr Michel Junker keynote speaker stated: "As keynote speaker at the GenComm launch, I'm very proud to have been invited to participate in this very  exciting and ambitious project    focusing on the deployment of hydrogen energy applications in European Northwest Regions. The Regions are the key to the deployment of hydrogen applications  (mobility, on-site heat and electricity production, energy storage...) as an energy carrier to store renewables.

    The need for using an increasing part of renewables in our energy mix to make them available for our everyday applications, to reduce our dependence to fossil fuels and to solve our climate and air pollution challenges is one of the toughest challenge for Europe for the next 20 years. Hydrogen is considered as one of the premium solutions to pave the way on this direction. The GenComm project is clearly leading on this route and it's results will contribute to accelerate the deployment models for hydrogen in European regions."

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