A call for a hydrogen led vision for Ireland was made at the AGM of Hydrogen Ireland on April 23.
Hydrogen Ireland Board Member, Dr Rory Monaghan, NUI Galway, argued there is no set government position on hydrogen at present in Ireland and that Hydrogen Ireland have an opportunity to influence this by organising workshops and seminars. Dr Monaghan said: “We need a signal from government through policy how demand becomes stimulated. We are looking to stimulate the supply and demand at the same time in Ireland.
“Hydrogen Ireland understand the value proposition of hydrogen and we want to promote the role of hydrogen and related technologies. We can work with politicians, stakeholders and indeed communities to achieve this.”
Dr Monaghan is the Lecturer of Energy Engineering in the School of Engineering at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway). He is the Lead of the Energy Research Centre in the NUI Galway Ryan Institute, a Funded Investigator in MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, and the Director of the Energy Engineering Programme at NUI Galway. He has been researching hydrogen and fuel cells since 2003 and currently leads the Long-Term Effects work package of the €9.3 million GenComm project, which is funded by the EU Interreg North West Europe Programme. He was commissioned by the Department of the Economy to prepare the Think Piece on Hydrogen Opportunities for Northern Ireland.
Dr Monaghan appreciates that Hydrogen Ireland have to inform industry to make long term planning for decarbonisation and to allow transfer to green energy options.
Hydrogen Ireland Board Member Paul McCormack echoed Dr Monaghan’s thoughts saying: “We need a singular voice from industry and academia, to be able to lobby government, to go to Dail Eireann, and the Northern Ireland Assembly and help stimulate, support then develop a hydrogen strategy.”
Ian Williamson, President of the European Hydrogen Association and Hydrogen Ireland Board Member said: “We are all becoming more environmentally aware and all realise how hydrogen can be used for things like heating and industry. We can learn now from the Northern Netherlands and we will be working on an Irish hydrogen valley project in the coming months.
“Hydrogen will be one of a host of technologies that will work together to reduce emissions. Electrolysers and fuel cells will increase in scale and number to enable more applications, in turn lowering costs. Inter regional energy trading via sustainable hydrogen based chemicals will also start.”
Dr James Carton, Chair of Hydrogen Ireland recalled: “We had our first workshop on hydrogen in Ireland in 2017 with 100 individuals at it, people wanted an association formed. In 2019 we formed Hydrogen Ireland, we want it to be a member focused association. We aim to develop reports and white papers as members require them. We hope to establish working groups among the association.”
Hydrogen Ireland Board Member, Mark Welsh, Energy Services Manager at Energia said: “The research we carry out has to fulfill industry requirements, that’s why our board is balanced with academic and industry members. We have engaged in the past year with government, councillors and regulators and we have responded to the Northern Ireland Energy Strategy consultation.”