Its Hydrogens time to deliver, but only if we all play our part.

In the 1800’s scientists understood that water, which constitutes hydrogen and oxygen, has the potential to be an inexhaustible source of energy. A century on now is the time to develop this technology to deliver zero emission energy.

At Hydrogen Ireland we are delighted to see the launch of the new Hydrogen Advisory Council in the UK. See https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/hydrogen-advisory-council . The aim is for government and industry to work together by identifying and promoting the concrete actions required to enable the supply of low carbon hydrogen at scale for use across the energy system, addressing near-term challenges and maximising opportunities for UK business in this rapidly growing area.

As Governments engage with stakeholders their aim is to develop new policies that will bring forward the technologies and infrastructure needed to grow the hydrogen economy. It is therefore time for all of us to be involved by responding to consultations and developing projects. On 22 July 2020 the UK government committed a £350million investment package in low-carbon technologies for the industrial, construction and materials sectors. The package includes £139million to reduce emissions in heavy industry by moving from natural gas to renewable hydrogen power and developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

We have a first-class natural gas infrastructure on the Island of Ireland and if this asset can be utilised for the transport and storage of renewable hydrogen it gives us the opportunity to deliver sustainable services and economic growth through the creation of green jobs. We have a system of connected gas pipelines in place with the Gas Transmission Network linking to all parts of the country, with depleted gas wells off our coasts we have an opportunity to replace this gas by developing hydrogen solutions to ensure this infrastructure can be fully utilised in a zero carbon world. The commitment to offshore wind fits neatly with enhancing hydrogen production as these new wind farms could be utilised to generate power for the production of large-scale hydrogen efficiently with an option of using the depleted gas fields to store the hydrogen competitively.

All of these technologies need quality research and engineering to develop. We are already ahead of the game; we have the potential to become world leaders in zero emission hydrogen, so the time is now for all of us to play our part and deliver the economic benefits from this inexhaustible potential.

Mark Welsh,

Hydrogen Ireland Board Member

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