Fleet Transport magazine highlights hydrogen transport in Ireland

The June issue of Fleet Transport magazine includes a two page feature ‘Setting the stage for hydrogen powered transport in Ireland’. This feature explores the work of policy stakeholders and industrial members of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland. https://fleet.ie/

Paul Mc Cormack examines the potential of Smart Hydrogen

Hydrogen Ireland Board Member Paul Mc Cormack

SMARTH2 – Renewable hydrogen – Power to X (P2X)


This discussion paper outlines the potential for smart hydrogen (SMARTH2) as an energy solution for helping decarbonise Europe. We have ambitious energy targets to meet, no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050. To decarbonise Europe, clean renewable power production must become the main source of energy, while also maintaining the stability and resilience of the EU Power System. SMARTH2 – green hydrogen produced from renewable sources with a zero carbon generation footprint.

It is a versatile energy carrier for efficient renewable hydrogen energy storage to be used as a green fuel for the transport and industry sectors. Smart Hydrogen can be the catalyst for a Sustainable Future, we can technically and financially optimize the production and commercialisation of renewable hydrogen. The aim of Smart Hydrogen is to create a hydrogen value chain that is optimal in technical performance and financial revenues.

Power to X

Hydrogen has a primary role to play in decarbonising ‘carbon heavy’ industry and also in helping decarbonise heavy duty  transport and passenger transport. SMART H2 produced from renewable electricity through electrolysis, can also be a basis for Power to X (power to multiple end use applications), and Power to Liquids (synthetic and drop in fuels based on hydrogen).

In order for Europe to take full advantage of SMART H2 it would require a significant step change in the European energy system. It would also require a modern infrastructure to seamlessly integrate all of the renewable energy resources in the energy system via the grid, enhancing the gas grid or via the option of power-to-X taking into account grid constraints, investments and evolving /new energy market design.

With this in mind, the concept of “Power to X” (P2X) refers to energy conversion technologies that allow for the decoupling of power production plants from the electrical market to use their product in a number of other sectors (hence the “X”), such as transport, heating and industry. The renewable energy sector, especially wind and solar power, are the fastest growing sources in Europe.

Smart Hydrogen provides;

(1) a solution to the electrical grid network challenges faced by the mature renewable electricity technologies,

(2) opportunities in hydrogen supply pathway,

(3) prospects for new hydrogen applications and

(4) creation of different and new trends in energy markets with “Power to X technologies”.

The aim of Smart Hydrogen is to create a hydrogen value chain that is optimal in technical performance and financial revenues. With this in mind, the concept of “Power to X” (P2X) refers to energy conversion technologies that allow for the decoupling of power production plants from the electrical market to use their product in a number of other sectors (hence the “X”), such as transport, heating and industry. The renewable energy sector, especially wind and solar power, are the fastest growing sources in Europe.

Disruptive Technology

Due to grid saturation in countries across Europe the growth and impact of these renewable energies are severely restricted. SMARTH2 is a disruptive technology that will enable Europe to reach a position where it can utilise excess amounts of this green electricity which is currently curtailed, but also, in the future, support further deployment of renewables across the region. When the ‘tipping point’ of renewable generation is reached (there is more renewable generation than demand), electricity is inexpensive on wholesale markets. As such, this cheap electricity can be used to produce hydrogen as an energy carrier for use especially in the transport sector. Through the sector coupling approach, it is intended to link the green production of electricity with the transport sector with SMART H2 as the energy vehicle because it is highly efficient, flexible and sustainable. To this end, SMARTH2 will develop H2 hubs and couple the renewable energy and transport sectors resulting in increased renewable energy generation and productivity and directly reducing GHG gases. In order to achieve successful energy transition to renewables in Europe we must look to achieving full commercial opportunity for renewable energy. In order to achieve this, we have to ensure commercial flexibility in the coupling of the renewable energy sector and the transport sector. The use of SMART H2 (Hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources) as an energy carrier to achieve this goal is crucial.

Overcoming challenges

SMART H2 aims to overcome the challenge of increasing the deployment of renewable energy in grid constrained European regions by demonstrating future large scale hydrogen energy storage flexibility via greening the fuel sector to be used within the transport and industry sectors. It will help create a European 2050 Hydrogen transport energy vision, create a techno-economic usable model with a decision support tool that can technically and financially optimize the fuel production and commercialisation, and also develop the first hydrogen suite of training courses for the maintenance, operatoion and user of hydrogen vehicles..

The global energy context has three main sectors: power, heating/cooling and transport. Despite seeing a growth deceleration from the early years of this century, global electrical power demand is expected to continue in a trend of unceasing growth. Projections up to 2040 present an expected average annual growth trend of 0.6% for OECD countries, with a considerably higher expected growth trend of 1.9% for non-OECD nations. Parallel to the constant increase in power demand, renewable energy capacity has experienced, and will continue to experience, an exponential rise. At the end of 2015 renewable electricity represented 23.7% of global electricity production. In Europe alone, continuing an ongoing trend, renewable energy accounted for a large majority (86%) of all new power installations in 2016. Currently there are eight different renewable sources identified and present in global energy markets, particularly in the power market:

(1) biomass energy,

(2) geothermal power and heat,

(3) hydropower,

(4) ocean energy,

(5) solar photovoltaics (PV),

(6) concentrating solar thermal power (CSP),

(7) solar thermal heating and cooling,

(8) wind power.

In 2015, the share of renewable energy in global final energy consumption was 24.5%. Global energy demand in the transport sector has followed a continuous increase of 2% annually on average since 2005. The sector accounts for about 28% of overall energy consumption and for 23% of energy related GHG emissions. Crude oil products account for around 93% of final energy consumption in transport. Renewable energy in the transport sector has three main entry points: (1) liquid biofuels as a standalone fuel or in a mixture with conventional liquid fuels, (2) gaseous biofuels, and (3) electric transport, which relies on battery storage or hydrogen as an energy carrier. It has been established in many studies that high shares of renewable energy in the European electricity sector can be both technically feasible and affordable.

These studies show that the most cost-effective solutions from renewables are dominated by wind and solar renewables generation but are limited by grid saturation. Therefore, for Europe to meet energy demand from renewable energy a disruptive technology is needed that negates the need for an expensive expansion of the transmission network or expensive electricity storage solutions and which allows us to look beyond the electricity demand side of the energy equation. In order for Europe to meet renewable energy targets and reductions in GHG we must look to other energy sectors especially transport in order to maximise the flexibility and variability of energy from renewables. Energy supply and transport account for 39% of the world’s CO2 emissions. If we want to achieve a position where energy demand can be met from renewable energy supply, then look where SMART H2 has the potential for real ‘sector coupling’ in linking the renewable energy sector with the transport sector and achieving demand/supply balance with a zero CO2 footprint. SMARTH2 provides a solution to the electrical grid network challenges faced by the mature renewable electricity technologies, theer are opportunities in the hydrogen supply pathway, prospects for new hydrogen applications in the transport and industry sectors and this creates new energy markets.

Grid Restraints

SMARTH2 has been specifically designed to challenge the current policy and market shifts from fossil fuels and non-sustainable energy carriers to be replaced by Smart green fuels. The SMARTH2 response to these shifts is to develop sustainable hydrogen energy systems, where the hydrogen is used as a green fuel for the transport and industry sectors.

SMARTH2 aims to resolve grid constrained, renewable energy deployment issues, greening the fuelling infrastructure, creating and demonstrating the appropriate environments and setup required to utilise the excess/curtailed wind energy, transforming and storing it as a Hydrogen Gas. Then transporting this gas to centre hubs, where it can be used to fuel Zero emission vehicles including buses and trucks and to empower industry.

H2 Hubs

SMARTH2 will develop H2 hubs and couple the renewable energy, transport and industry sectors resulting in increased renewable energy generation and productivity and directly reducing GHG gases within the NWE.

The use of hydrogen aims to eliminate problems associated with intermittence, as hydrogen can function as a buffer between supply and demand. The physical properties of hydrogen make it particularly suited to large-scale, long-term energy storage applications. The high energy density also allows for extensive storage capacity, while also benefitting from negligible loses during the storage phase. Current advancements in conversion technologies will allow hydrogen to supply different forms of energy demand. These conversion technologies also grant the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier the necessary flexibility to react to the variable natures of

(1) energy supply and demand and

(2) energy markets.

In the case of overcapacity, the ease and speed with which hydrogen fuel cells and combustion engines can ramp up and down will render the need for this practice obsolete. Hydrogen can offer several alternatives to the problem of distance between energy supply and demand. Hydrogen transport technologies are mature due to its important role in the petrochemical industry. New routes of transport such as pipelines and ocean transport are under extensive research investigation.

SMARTH2 combines;

  1. A solution to the electrical grid network challenges faced by the mature renewable electricity technologies,
  2. Opportunities in the hydrogen supply pathway,
  3. Prospects for new hydrogen applications in the transport and industry sectors and
  4. Creation of different and new trends in energy markets by means of coupling the sectors of renewable energies, transportation and industry.

SMARTH2 will address hydrogen demand and market failure by providing instruments to implement decisions to adopt zero carbon.


In order to achieve successful energy transition to a sustainable Europe, it is critical to achieve full commercial opportunity for renewable energy. However, it is only by using energy storage technologies at a large scale that this can be attained. The use of SMARTH2 (Hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources) is the first stepping stone in order to achieve any meaningful sustainable energy deployment and use of that energy within the transport sector, thereby reducing CO2 emission at a large scale potential.

As renewable sources continue their penetration into the global energy mix, they face a series of challenges that can jeopardise their growth into the future. These include intermittence, overcapacity, curtailment, constraints, long transmission distances, varying capital (CAPEX), operational (OPEX) expenses, and changing market conditions. The use of hydrogen as an energy carrier can mitigate these challenges by acting as a buffer between energy demand and supply, while enabling flexibility between the potential energetic and non-energetic uses of renewable energy. To achieve this potential, hydrogen must overcome its own challenges, which include low conversion efficiencies, high CAPEX and OPEX, while maintaining the highest safety standards.

Paul McCormack

The role of Energia in the future of Irish energy

The Irish Examiner newspaper takes a look at the role of the Energia group in defining the future of irish energy: https://www.irishexaminer.com/sponsoredcontent/future-of-irish-energy-in-safe-hands-998829.html

Ian Williamson asks Can Hydrogen become a key European energy carrier ?

Can hydrogen become a key European energy carrier?

With all the media attention correctly focussed on the implications for Covid on our daily lives, there has been little room for coverage of how the EU plans to deliver its clean climate and energy strategies.

In December last year the EU published its Green Deal . The goal was to deliver a first step on the way to achieving decarbonisation by 2050. A first European climate law has been adopted and it sees renewables, hydrogen networks and energy storage as key aspects of innovation and integration between member states.

In March, the EU presented its New industrial strategy for Europe as according to the Commission ”Europe needs an industry that becomes greener and more digital while remaining competitive on the global stage”.

We will need a more strategic and wholistic approach to the ‘new’ renewable energy sector.  Heating and mobility can no longer be overlooked. This demands a substantial increase in the amount of electricity required whilst continuing the electrical grid’s migration towards sustainable supplies. However, countries cannot achieve the necessary changes in infrastructure in isolation, better interconnectivity in Europe’s electricity systems to integrate more renewables as well as increasing security of electricity supply will be required.  In addition, a new EU strategy on Smart Sector Integration, involving all energy carriers including clean hydrogen, will focus on efficient usage and interfacing. 

So, hydrogen is a prime example of where the Commission think real added value can occur verses the status quo.  Hydrogen activities across some of the larger funding streams will be coordinated under the new European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (CHA) which is expected to be launched in the summer. It brings together investors, governments, institutions and industrial partners. The Alliance will build on existing work identifying further technology needs, investment opportunities and regulatory barriers and enablers. It has the clear aim of retaining the co-ordination of the hydrogen sector across Europe from a Brussels perspective.

The three main pillars of the CHA are production, distribution and applications of hydrogen

However, without an effective budget the CHA will be toothless. Around the globe we see public funding support for hydrogen increasing rapidly. If Europe does not match this early deployment investment than it must be assumed that the benefits of transitioning our energy mix will be solely to our health rather than our wealth. Today we see China leading the investment in hydrogen – investing 8 times what the EU does currently on a per capita basis.

Bridging this investment public finance investment gap must be a key deliverable from the CHA – Europe does not need another round table discussion when others are already delivering.

The surge of environmental awareness in 2018/9 has translated to government intent. In some member states we are seeing national policies come forward which embrace the potential of hydrogen i.e. the Netherlands and Germany. The question is can hydrogen now find a solid platform on which to become a key mainstay of future national and international energy policy.

The leaked version of the EU Green Deal Recovery plan has a suite of initiatives:

  • Doubling of innovation funding of the old FCH JU via the new CHA.
  • A vision of RES acceleration with 15GW supported over the next 2 years – c. €10 billion.
  • Use of the Innovation fund to kick start hydrogen over the next 2 years which equates to a further €2-4billion investment.
  • A target of 1million tonnes of clean hydrogen to be supported out of the 8 million used by industry in the EU today.
  • An annual €10 billion green infrastructure fund for renewables and hydrogen.

For once, the signs are all positive.

The EU have laid the groundwork, the intent is positive, industry must step up and, with all our combined continued efforts, hydrogen will finally deliver on its promise.

Ian Williamson, President of the European Hydrogen Association and Hydrogen Ireland Board member

Bright hydrogen future dawns for two islands at opposite ends of Ireland

The input of Hydrogen Ireland board members into helping two irish islands develop their green hydrogen strategies is making headlines this week. Rathlin Island (Co Antrim) and Valentia Island, (Co Kerry) are both making energetic strides. https://fleet.ie/rathlin-valentia-islands-poles-apart-but-linked-to-develop-a-new-green-hydrogen-energy-strategy/

Rathlin Island

Valentia Island harbour

The Renewables journey of a Hydrogen Ireland Board Member

One of the most well known figures in the renewables world in Ireland Hydrogen Ireland board member Dr Rory Monaghan has been profiled on the Silicon Republic irish technology news site. Dr Monaghan gives a valauble insight into his career to date. The researcher also reveals what areas of research he would like to see explored in future years.


The ever growing potential of Hydrogen

Renewables and efficiency will be essential to put the world on track to meet climate goals and other sustainability objectives, but the two of them alone will not be sufficient. IEA  has repeatedly shown, a broad portfolio of clean energy technologies will be needed to decarbonise all parts of the economy.


Batteries and hydrogen-producing electrolysers stand out as two important technologies in this regard, thanks to their ability to convert electricity into chemical energy and vice versa. Ideally, clean energy stimulus packages would include both battery and electrolyser manufacturing in order to take advantage of the spill-over benefits between the two technologies. Both industries have the potential to create many jobs across their entire supply chains as the use of batteries and hydrogen picks up.

Hydrogen Ireland Board members spoke at the launch of the Community Hydrogen Forum


A report published this week by an industry led team supported by Dublin City University (DCU) and funded by SEAI (the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) has identified Hydrogen as a key element in Ireland’s Energy future.

The report, led by Mullin Grid Consulting, identified the relative and combined impact and importance of a range of curtailment mitigation options on high renewable electricity systems in Ireland towards 2030 and 2040. The team developed a model for estimating curtailment in Ireland and used this model to investigate potential measures and options to mitigate curtailment in 2030 with 70% average renewable electricity. The model considered; reducing fossil base load, relieving operational constraints, additional interconnection capacity, energy storage, increased wind capacity factors, diversification of technologies (e.g. solar capacity) and demand side management.

Additional modelling looked at getting towards 100% renewable electricity and it identifies hydrogen technologies are key to enabling more renewable penetration by absorbing significant volumes (e.g. offshore wind electricity) of excess renewable power and converting it to hydrogen for use in the heat and transport sectors.

Model results were visualised using animated graphs, and the project outcomes and results have been widely disseminated across both policy and industry audiences.

The research will inform national policy, in particular the Climate Action Plan target of 70% renewable electricity by 2030, and notify industry towards seriously looking at integrating hydrogen in Ireland’s future energy system.

The report is available here: https://www.seai.ie/case-studies/mullan-grid/

Global Energy Review looks different in light of current global crisis

Hydrogen Ireland Board Member Paul Mc Cormack is pointing out that the Covid-19 pandemic has massively disrupted the global economy, forcing large parts of the world into confinement and creating the largest shock to the global energy system in more than seven decades.

The IEA published the most detailed and up-to-date look at the pandemic’s impact on all major fuels and carbon emissions, based on more than 100 days of real-time data. The new Global Energy Review found that the drop in energy demand this year is set to be seven times the decline after the 2008 financial crisis and lead to a record fall in carbon emissions of almost 8%, taking them to their lowest level in a decade.

This is a historic shock to the entire energy world. Amid today’s unparalleled health and economic crises, the plunge in demand for nearly all major fuels is staggering, especially for coal, oil and gas. Only renewables are holding up during the previously unheard-of slump in electricity use,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. “It is still too early to determine the longer-term impacts, but the energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before.”

Hydrogen Ireland Board Member Paul Mc Cormack reflects on the global energy situation

Is clean air in our cities possible in the new normal ?

Is Clean Air in our Cities possible in the New Normal? Hydrogen Ireland Board Member Mark Welsh offers his thoughts.

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our way of life more than could ever have been imagined and we are all looking for new ways to work as we look forward to what will be the new normal.

As we see the shutting down of industrial activity, we are witnessing a temporarily slashing of air pollution levels around the world. From ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite it shows that over the past six weeks, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year.

Pollution comes from us driving our cars, power stations and the offices/factories we work in, and similar to Covoid19 we need to keep the fight up against this pollution as it exacerbates respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

This dramatic change has given us in to a glimpse of what we could see in the future when we move in to a Zero carbon economy. As we move out of this crisis, we should put our energy in to delivering solutions that will bring health and life to all in our communities as it is beneficial to people in susceptible categories as it may reduce the spread of disease as high levels of air pollution disappear.

The World Health Organization states “NO2 is a toxic gas which causes significant inflammation of the airways at concentrations above 200 micrograms per cubic metre. Pollution particles may also be a vector for pathogens, as well as exacerbating existing health problems”. The WHO is now investigating whether airborne pollution particles may be a vector that spreads Covid-19 and makes it more virulent.

According to the Guardian – One of the largest drops in pollution levels could be seen over the city of Wuhan, in central China, which was put under a strict lockdown in late January. The city of 11 million people serves as a major transportation hub and is home to hundreds of factories supplying car parts and other hardware to global supply chains. According to Nasa, nitrogen dioxide levels across eastern and central China have been 10-30% lower than normal.

It is understood that our roads account for about 80% of nitrogen oxide emissions in the UK. The average diesel car emits c50mg of the pollutants in to the air. With the reduction of traffic on our roads we are seeing a dramatic improvement in to the air we breathe.

The challenge for us all in the Hydrogen Community is how we can develop solutions that will keep our air quality clean without the need to reducing;

  • the number of miles driven on our roads both private and public transport or
  • a reduction in the energy we use to keep us warm and live comfortable life styles.

We at Hydrogen Ireland believe this can be achieved with the introduction of Renewable Hydrogen generated from Wind, Solar and AD generating plants.

With the Lockdowns many people to have been furloughed or permanently laid off. The development of clean, zero emission locally generated energy gives the potential for workers to retrain and up skill that will deliver new and sustainable jobs in this new renewable future.

Using renewable electricity and water for the production and distribution of Hydrogen fuel directly from a local renewable generation site means that the zero-emission fuel is delivered with a zero-carbon footprint. This method does not produce emissions for its generation and as we will be using our existing road tankers (all fuelled by Hydrogen in the future) means there is not a requirement for any additional transportation infrastructure for its delivery.

At Hydrogen Ireland we are keen to support the development of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Transport on the island of Ireland and are working closely with Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI), a group of Irish stakeholders, with industry members from across the transport and energy industries.

The group plans to roll-out a network of refuelling stations across the Island of Ireland by 2030 which will supply hydrogen as a green, affordable and practical fuel for the decarbonisation of transport.

Funding is sought for a first project which will install the first three hydrogen refuelling stations in Ireland. These will be constructed in Dublin and supply green hydrogen to new zero emissions vehicles deployed as part of this project: 30 buses and 60 cars with fuel cell electric powertrains.

These refuelling stations will be supplied by two sites which produce hydrogen from varied low carbon electricity sources through the electrolysis of water. The hydrogen supplied will reduce CO2 emissions in Ireland by 96% compared to the higher carbon petrol/diesel alternative vehicles.

This project is needed to demonstrate both a business model for hydrogen production and distribution, and the deployment of first fleets of fuel cell vehicles to the Irish market. This initial project will catalyse investment in the further HMI roll-out strategy and support a move to a commercial model in the period from 2023 to 2030

The introduction of clean hydrogen fuel will ensure that city air remains clear and breathable. A total of 553,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent emissions can be avoided up to 2030, through the continued roll-out of hydrogen refuelling stations and fuel cell electric vehicles that will be catalysed by this first deployment on the island of Ireland.

This together with the 3 Hydrogen Buses and Hydrogen Fuelling Station project in Belfast supported by OLEV (Office foe Low Emission Vehicles) and the Interreg NWE supported GenComm project delivering a 500kW Hydrogen Electrolyser supplied directly from a wind farm is a great start for this Clean Air in our Cities in what will be a new norm. 

‘Renewable Smart Hydrogen for a Sustainable Future’ paper creates debate

The GenComm project aims to overcome these challenges through the creation of a techno-economic model and investment decision support tool that can technically and financially optimize the production and commercialisation of renewable hydrogen. A number of Hydrogen Ireland board members were authors of the paper ‘Renewable Smart Hydrogen for a Sustainable Future’. You can access the paper here and learn more about the concept of Smart Hydrogen.

As renewable sources continue their penetration into the global energy mix, they face a series of challenges that can jeopardise their growth into the future. These include intermittence, overcapacity, curtailment, constraints, long transmission distances, varying capital (CAPEX), operational (OPEX) expenses, and changing market conditions. The use of hydrogen as an energy carrier can mitigate these challenges by acting as a buffer between energy demand and supply, while enabling flexibility between the potential energetic and non-energetic uses of renewable energy. To achieve this potential, hydrogen must overcome its own challenges, which include  low conversion efficiencies, high CAPEX and OPEX, while maintaining the highest safety standards.

One of the authors of the ‘Renewable Smart Hydrogen for a Sustainable Future’ paper is Hydrogen Ireland Board Member Paul Mc Cormack

HI Chair part of task force developing policy brief for T20 and G20 leaders

Hydrogen Ireland Board member and Chairperson Dr James Carton, DCU, is part of a task force developing a policy brief on the role of “Hydrogen in Energy Transition” for T20 & G20 leaders.

Dr Carton commented on the news saying: “Covid-19 Pandemic has hit global economies hard and a global recession is looming. As we emerge from lockdown what if we supported our economy with less air pollution, more renewable energy infrastructure, zero-emissions public transport, solar energy, clean agricultural fertilizer, a zero carbon gas grid, all enabled by a clean energy carrier; hydrogen”

Dr James Carton

T20 (Think 20) is an engagement group of think tanks whose primary challenge is to add value to the G20 process with evidence-based public policy proposals. The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union (EU), representing two thirds of the global population. Its aim is to discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability and economic development. In 2020 the focus is on Empowering People, Safeguarding the Planet and Shaping New Frontiers. https://t20saudiarabia.org.sa/en/forces/Pages/Sustainable-Energy-Water-and-Food-Systems.aspx    

Hydrogen Ireland voice to be heard at Energy Ireland 2020 Event 

Hydrogen Ireland Board member Dr Rory Monaghan, NUIG, is to make a presentation at the Energy Ireland 2020 conference in Dublin on October 7-8, 2020. The event at the Aviva Stadium is titled, ‘Irelands Decade of Decarbonisation’.  The role of renewable energy technologies in Ireland’s energy system will be explored.  https://www.energyireland.ie/ 

Irish Times contributor John Fitzgerald has in the past week  looked at the issue  whether the price of renewables and fossil fuels needs rebalancing. Mr Fitzgerald wrote: “By shifting to renewable energy, the world demand for fossil fuels is likely to fall between 2030 and 2050. 

“Longer term, the more successful the world is in developing renewable technolgies, the lower will be the demand for oil, and hence the lower its long term price. In turn, lower fossil fuel prices will discourage necessary investment in renewables. To ensure that investment in renewables continues to be economically attractive, major world economies will need to rebalance the relative price of renewables and fossil fuels, either through raising the price of carbon or heavily subsidising clean energy.” 

Hydrogen Ireland Board Member Dr Rory Monaghan set for Aviva Stadium renewable energy Conference

Hydrogen partnerships working in 2020

A new EU hydrogen fuel partnership has been announced in March 2020, namely the ‘Clean Hydrogen Alliance’. It is meant to build on existing efforts and expand further into H2. A European Commission statement read: “The Alliance will build on existing work to identify technology needs, investment opportunities and regulatory barriers and enablers. ‘’ 

The statement referred to a new EU hydrogen fuel partnership as a ‘new industrial strategy for Europe’.  

In the area of broadening the use of hydrogen, the Chair of Hydrogen Ireland, Dr James Carton, said: “Hydrogen Ireland commits to provide data on policies, incentives and regulations that impact the deployment of hydrogen technologies in Ireland to  Hydrogen Europe and the fuel cells and hydrogen observatory.” 

The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance initiative could materialize this summer. The proposed alliance will be modelled on the European Battery Alliance which brought together more than 200 companies, national governments and research organisations. 

Dr James Carton, Chair of Hydrogen Ireland

Hydrogen Transport debate develops further

Hydrogen Ireland welcomes more positive news regarding the use of hydrogen fuelled buses. The new owner of Wrightbus is hoping to get £500m from the British Government as he plans to focus on hydrogen powered buses.

The Ballymena-based bus manufacturing company was saved by Jo Bamford last year after it entered administration and 1,400 jobs were lost.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Jo Bamford, whose family owns the £3.5bn JCB empire, outlined his plans to create a zero emissions bus.

Mr Bamford wants £500m to get his dream up and running. He explained that £200m would be spent on infrastructure and a further £300m would be spent on subsidising hydrogen buses.

Around 3,500 of those buses would be made £100,000 cheaper, making them a similar price to diesel alternatives.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced a £5bn programme to invest in England’s bus network and Mr Bamford is desperate for Wrightbus to be involved.

“If you go and spend £5bn on zero-emission buses and they are all battery buses, most of which come from China. I am not sure that is the best for British industry,” he said. “My point to the British Government: we haven’t got an advantage in batteries. We have got an opportunity with hydrogen to claim that space.”

Hydrogen Ireland welcome investment in hydrogen infrastructure and with HI being part of the Hydrogen Europe network we will make our voice heard in 2020 and beyond. We are disappointed that this weeks Hydrogen and Fuel Cells for Heavy Duty Transport Conference in Brussels (March 25-26, 2020) has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

The Energy debate is bigger news than ever before

The key speaker at the Energy Institute NI Annual dinner on March 5th 2020 was Ms Jan Reid, Senior Manager, Low Carbon at Scottish Enterprise. Key industry figures listened to her address on marine energy with interest. The energy question is becoming more mainstream and more newsworthy all the time. In a recent opinion piece in the Irish News daily newspaper the question of an energy strategy was discussed. http://www.irishnews.com/business/2020/03/03/news/a-new-energy-strategy-is-everyone-s-business-1856530/ Hydrogen Ireland board members are currently contributing to the ongoing energy strategy debate offering valued opinions to government.

The key speaker at the recent Energy Institute Northern Ireland branch annual dinner Ms Jan Reid is pictured alongside Ms Clare Mc Allister, Chair of the Energy Institute NI branch.

HI board attend Energy Institute (NI) 59th Annual dinner

Hydrogen Ireland board members and GenComm European partners attended the Energy Institute (NI) annual dinner on March 5th. 

The Northern Ireland branch of the Energy Institute (EI) held their 59th annual dinner on Thursday March 5th 2020 in Belfast. The event held at the Crowne Plaza at Shaws Bridge in Belfast was attended by Hydrogen Ireland board members , members of the Belfast Met GenComm team and by individual GenComm partners from across Europe. 

The Energy Institute is a  not-for-profit chartered professional membership body which brings together expertise to tackle urgent global challenges. The EI respond to the climate emergency while meeting the energy needs of the world’s growing population and making calls for energy to be better understood, managed and valued. This is at the heart of the social purpose of the Energy Institute. 

A  collaborative space for industry, academia and policy makers, the Energy Institute delivers standards, guidance, training and qualifications that raise the bar in operations in almost all areas of the energy system: upstream and downstream oil and gas, onshore and offshore wind power, fugitive methane reduction, battery storage, hydrogen, CCUS and integrated networks. 

The black tie annual dinner featured a wine reception and after dinner entertainment. This key date in the energy sector calendar in Northern Ireland was open to EI members and non members. On the night the key speaker was Ms Jan Reid, Senior Manager, Low Carbon at Scottish Enterprise. Ms Reid has worked in economic development for over 25 years. Her work is now focused on supporting the growing industries and opportunities of low carbon, especially water and wastewater and low carbon heat and energy efficiency.  

Entertainment on the evening included a performance from the Fortwilliam Musical Society , a group, founded in 1977. The main society perform a week of concerts in November each year in the Courtyard Theatre, Ballyearl. These concerts are reprised on a number of occasions throughout the rest of the season, (September to May), often as fundraising events for local churches, clubs and societies.. The society also perform a week in the Theatre at the Mill usually in March. 

Mr Paul Mc Cormack, the GenComm Programme Manager  made a presentation  at the event to Energia Energy Services Manager, Mark Welsh to congratulate him on his working life in the energy sector. The attendance on the night also included Meabh Cormacain, Energy Adviser at the Strategic Investment Board, Micheal Scott, Managing Director, Firmus Energy, Jamie Delargy, former UTV business editor, Neil Hewitt, Univeristy of Ulster, Professor of Energy and Terry Waugh, Chief Executive of Action Renewables. 

HI attend Energy Strategy Workshop

Hydrogen Ireland board member Mark Welsh , attended the Department For the Economy Energy Strategy transport workshop in the Mellon Country Inn in Omagh, Co Tyrone on February 26 2020. 

Former UTV Business Editor Jamie Delargy opened the workshop. Among the topics discussed were: Setting the Scene-Climate Change,  Michael Mc Callion-DAERA, (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) an introduction to the DFE Call for Evidence process, from the DFE Energy Strategy team , a Call for Evidence-Transport , Claire Cockerill, DFI. There was a table discussion on the call for evidence questions. A summary of the discussion and the next steps was also considered. 

Among the questions posed from the event were, what would be an appropriate pathway to decarbonised energy for transport to 2050 ?, 

What role should active travel have in the decarbonisation of the transport sector and what should government do to support this ? 

What energy infrastructure is needed to facilitate the uptake of electric vehicles in line with UK Government’s road ‘Road to Zero’ targets ? 

How will transport integrate with other energy uses, ie: homes with solar generation, battery storage, EV charging and what can government do to optimise the opportunities represented by this integration ? 

To what extent can alternative low carbon transport fuels contribute to the decarbonisation of the transport sector ? 

Mark Welsh, Energia Energy Services Manager and HI Board member attends the DFE Energy Strategy Transport Workshop

Research Group meeting in Cork attended by Hydrogen Ireland

The Chairs of GenComm outputs Hydrogen Ireland and the Community Hydrogen Forum both attended a hydrogen research meeting in Cork on February 19. Academics were in attendance to discuss the hydrogen question in Ireland in 2020. Those attending included researchers from UCC Interdisciplinary Institute which has 400 researchers who address the sustainability challenges of climate action, circular economy and the healthy environment. The Ryan Institute, NUIG, who do research into sustainability also had attendees.

Do you have any data/research to help inform and reduce the carbon intensity of our transport energy in order to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 ? 

The Chair of Hydrogen Ireland , Dr James Carton and the Chair of the Community Hydrogen Forum, Dr Rory Monaghan both attended the hydrogen research group meeting in Cork on February 19.

Hydrogen Ireland board members speaking at key events in Dublin and Belfast

Hydrogen Ireland stakeholder work – Feb 17-21, 2020 

It’s been a busy week for the Hydrogen Ireland team. Firstly on the evening of Tuesday 18 February Mark Welsh, from  GenComm partner Energia spoke at ‘The Mac’ in Belfast’s Cathedral quarter at a Northern Ireland Science Festival event called ‘The Future of Mobility’.  

In an attempt to halt climate change and improve air quality there is a push towards low carbon vehicles being ubiquitious on our roads, sea and air in tandem, work is accelerating on fully autonomous vehicles.  Mark spoke as part of a panel of experts from business and academia which also included David Tyler, Commercial Director, Artemis Technologies, and Andrew Woods, CEO of Catagen. Lorraine Acheson, Innovate UK Manager for Northern Ireland was the Chair of the event.  The event was part of the Innovate UK Grand Challenges series which focuses on the global trends which will transform our futures.  There is now in 2020 an upheaval in our mobility, energy and infrastructure systems.  A public announcement on January 29, 2020 by Translink, the Energia Group and Wrightbus with support from the Department for Infrastructure and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) paved the way for Belfast’s first ever hydrogen powered double decker buses.  

Meanwhile on Thursday February 20, 2020, Dr Rory Monaghan , from GenComm partner, NUIG was a speaker at the Irish Renewable Energy Summit 2020 in Croke Park, Dublin. Dr Monaghan is also the Chair of the Community Hydrogen Forum, (CH2F) a vital output of the GenComm project.  The 2020 Irish Renewable Energy Summitt looked at where Ireland is in terms of delivering renewable energy to meet its climate commitments.  The summit brought together key stakeholders from across the energy sector to discuss how the contribution from renewable energy can be maximized and implemented most effectively. 

Among the key themes covered at the Dublin event were the climate action plan and renewable energy policy, the next phase of onshore wind development, decarbonizing the gas network with biomethane and the electrification of transport.  

At a session on bioenergy chaired by Marie Donnelly from Renewable Energy Ireland, Dr Monaghan spoke on the topic, ‘Renewable Hydrogen is ready for take off’.  Among the other speakers was William Walsh, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Mr Walsh spoke on the topic, ‘Projections to 2030-Renewable Energy Outlook’.  

Hydrogen Ireland board members attend Translink hydrogen double decker bus project Belfast launch

Translink have signed a contract with GenComm partner Energia for the supply of renewably sourced hydrogen from an on shore Co Antrim windfarm and a contract with Wrightbus who will supply three new sustainable fuel cell electric double decker buses powered by Hydrogen. The launch event on January 29, 2020 was attended by the Chair of Hydrogen Ireland, Dr James Carton and by Hydrogen Ireland board members, Mark Welsh, Neil Morrow, Paul Mc Cormack and Ian Williamson. Hydrogen Ireland board member and Energia Group Energy Services Manager Mark Welsh welcomed the news saying: “We are delighted to partner with Translink on this renewable hydrogen project which brings together both public and private sector investment and innovation. The project will also be an important enabler for the development of the skills and capabilities of local companies, such as Wrightbus, so that export opportunities in the global hydrogen economy can be realised.”

Hydrogen Ireland Chair Dr James Carton and Hydrogen Ireland board members pictured at the January 29 , 2020 Translink media launch of Belfasts new double decker hydrogen buses
Pictured at the Translink media launch announcing news of Belfasts first ever hydrogen powered double decker buses are from left Mark Welsh, Energia Energy Services Manager, Nichola Mallon, Minister for Infrastructure, (NI) and Paul Mc Cormack, GenComm Programme Manager

Hydrogen Ireland Board Member writes for Renewable Energy magazine

Dr Rory Monaghan, NUIG

Hydrogen Ireland Board member Dr Rory Monaghan, NUIG has written an article for Renewable Energy Magazine. Dr Monaghan provides an account of how hydrogen can enable the connection of Ireland’s offshore renewable potential with the countrys energy system. The creation of Hydrogen Ireland is mentioned in the article. https://www.energyireland.ie/renewable-hydrogen-is-ready-for-take-off-will-ireland-be-onboard/

Hydrogen Ireland Presentation at the Belfast Met Hydrogen and Low Emissions Alternative Fuels Seminar

Energia Energy Services Manager Mark Welsh explained at the Belfast Met Hydrogen seminar on November 28 2019 how Hydrogen Ireland will be taking up a position within Hydrogen Europe and how a hydrogen infrastructure is growing. https://www.nweurope.eu/media/8587/mark-welsh-energia-presentation.pptx

Hydrogen Ireland Board Member Mark Welsh speaking at the Belfast Met Hydrogen and Low Emissions Alternative Fuels Seminar on November 28, 2019

Hydrogen Mobility Ireland Strategy Paper ready for discussion

The document presents a detailed analysis across items such as – cost of ownership, comparison with other technologies, different hydrogen production scenarios, refuelling station approach, breakdown of investment needs and government support required.

The full report and a narrative summary may be accessed here…



Pictured at the launch of the Hydrogen Mobility Ireland Strategy paper are from left Dr James Carton, Chair of Hydrogen Ireland, David Strain, Department For Infrastructure, NI, Paul Mc Cormack, GenComm Programme Manager and Mark Welsh, Energia Energy Services Manager.

Dr James Carton to speak at Low Emissions Seminar

The Chair of Hydrogen Ireland Dr James Carton will be speaking at a Hydrogen and Low Emissions Fuels Seminar on November 28 , 2019 at Belfast Met’s E3 Campus, Springfield Road, Belfast, BT12 7DU.

The workshop will run from 09.00-13.45 GMT and will discuss the outputs of the  GenComm  project, safety training, environmental issues and the clean transport agenda. You will also hear about Belfast’s first hydrogen double deck bus and how the new 350 Bar hydrogen refuelling works.

You will also hear from a panel of technical leads in the NI hydrogen journey.

A Hydrogen Roadmap for Irish Transport 2020-2030 –  Hydrogen Mobility Ireland    

Hydrogen Ireland Association and a group of leading industrial players, and public sector bodies have come together to launch a coordinated strategy report for the deployment of hydrogen mobility in Ireland. The transport sector is currently the second highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland. The use of hydrogen as a fuel for cars and heavy-duty vehicles can enable zero emissions transport.

We are reaching a consensus globally that renewables have a big role to play in reducing emissions and that electrification and storage can work hand in hand. Hydrogen is versatile, and is becoming very cost effective to produce from renewables. There are multiple projects across Europe, US and Asia that are scaling hydrogen production technology, allowing hydrogen to replace fossil fuels in steel & fertiliser industries, being shipped from Australia to Japan and enabling an unprecedented amount of interest for hydrogen transport; in fuel cell buses, cars, trains and trucks. These vehicles are difficult to decarbonise at scale other than using hydrogen.

In Ireland, currently about 35% of our electricity is from renewable wind. Ireland’s Climate Action Plan has aimed to reach 70% renewables by 2030, ban the sale of new petrol & diesel vehicles and have a million electric vehicles on the roads. Hydrogen in transport can support renewable energy, it can start small and scaleup fast to help enable Ireland’s Climate Action Plan to happen, making a real impact to reduce emissions in transport by 2030, for our climate & for our health.

“We see hydrogen playing a role in achieving Ireland’s climate targets in Transport, Heating, Energy & Storage. Our aim is to connect hydrogen with all sectors of energy and society, creating a new clean, zero-emission economy” Dr James Carton, Hydrogen Ireland Association.

Key Report Findings:

By 2030 the Hydrogen Mobility Ireland Strategy can Deliver many Benefits for Ireland, including:
 – Hydrogen as a mass market fully zero carbon fuel

 – Cost competitive clean transport

 – No local pollutant emissions

 – A solution for heavy use transport

 – Direct benefits for the Irish economy

 – Catalysing other hydrogen energy applications

 – Hydrogen from renewable energy

 – Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles to include 30 Buses, 50 cars & 10 Trucks on Irish roads by 2023 

Please download the full public report HERE http://hydrogenireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/HMI_report_final_Oct3rd2019-2.pdf and Summary report HERE   http://hydrogenireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/HMI_narrative_summary_final_Oct3rd2019.pdf

Hydrogen Mobility Ireland members and Stakeholders

New role for Hydrogen Ireland Chair Dr James Carton

Dr James Carton, Chair of Hydrogen Ireland has been appointed as Hydrogen Taskforce Expert to the United Nations Economic Commission For Europe (UN-ECE).

The launch of Hydrogen Ireland at Belfast City Hall , March 2019

Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper


H2 View interview Hydrogen Ireland Co Founder Dr James Carton

H2 view Senior Journalist Joanna Sampson has interviewed Dr James Carton for the H2 View website. James has explained the key aims of Hydrogen Ireland and the special relationship with hydrogen that Ireland has.

Northern Ireland Hydrogen Transport Initiative gets go ahead

This NI hydrogen transport initiative aims to install one hydrogen fuelling station and provide three hydrogen buses as a result. The project is led by GenComm partner Energia. Check the details here  https://ee.ricardo.com/htpgrants

HUGE (Hydrogen Utilisation and Green Energy) project lau

The Huge project has been launched in Galway. GenComm Programme Manager Paul Mc Cormack was among the speakers at the launch https://actionrenewables.co.uk/news-events/post.php?s=new-eu-project-huge-to-launch-next-month