Ireland Hydrogen Strategy Consultation

Summary: EIH2’s Response to Irelands Hydrogen Strategy Consultation

Ireland Hydrogen Strategy will be released in 2023 after a consultation period feed into by the dynamic energy and hydrogen sectors in Ireland. EIH2 has become a leading voice in the development of the hydrogen industry in Ireland and below we have summarised the key messages from our consultation response.

Figure 1. EIH2 submission to ‘The Consultation on developing a Hydrogen Strategy for Ireland’
CLICK HERE to read full submission.

Renewable Electricity and Green Hydrogen are both needed for Ireland’s green
independent energy future.

Not all end energy uses can be met by renewable electricity. Today, those needs are met by
fossil fuels – diesel for HGVs, bunker fuels for shipping, fossil aviation fuels for airplanes and
natural gas for industry. Green hydrogen will provide a zero-carbon replacement for this fossil
fuel use.
Energy can’t easily be stored in electrical form – batteries are useful for hours or days only
which means that our use of renewable energy is limited by the capacity of the electrical grid
and the instantaneous demand for electricity. Converting the energy to Green Hydrogen
enables storage for weeks or longer maximising our use of renewable resources.
Wind and solar energy aren’t always available for electricity production and today thermal
generation (burning fossil fuels) provides the back up and balance to these intermittent
renewables. Green hydrogen will provide a zero-carbon replacement for this fossil fuel use.
Ireland’s need for energy security is met today by fossil fuels (either imported or from the
depleting Corrib gas field). Storing energy as Green Hydrogen provides an indigenous
sustainable alternative.
It will not be possible to use all our wind resources if we rely on electrical infrastructure alone.
We need Green Hydrogen so we can store and transport energy around Ireland and Europe.

Figure 2. Compressed hydrogen transport by tube truck trailer

Ireland’s green independent energy future in enabled by a 2050 focus and energy system

To achieve an affordable, secure, and sustainable energy system by 2050, we must keep the
end goal, the timeline, and the complexity of energy systems at the heart of all policies,
including the hydrogen strategy. Even a perfect electricity system, with all its inherent costs,
battery parks and overhead wires can never meet all our energy needs.
There is no net zero 2050 energy system without green hydrogen. Therefore, the short-, medium- and long-term actions for green hydrogen must be progressed and resourced in parallel with those for electricity.

To capitalise on our renewable energy, we must design our hydrogen strategy to integrate
with the European Hydrogen Strategy

Ireland can meet our domestic electricity and hydrogen needs with renewable energy to
spare. Ireland’s Hydrogen Strategy must consider Ireland within the context of the
international energy system to enable Ireland to become a net exporter of energy.
The European Union desire to fund integrated energy systems enabled by Green Hydrogen
was seen most recently in the REPowerEU plan. To access this funding, the Irish hydrogen
strategy must dovetail with the European approach. It also means we are on a path to comply
with EU energy policy and regulation.
An international focus with an export ambition encourages large international energy
companies to develop projects in Ireland as they value economy of scale. The export option
gives a route to market in proportion to the scale of the available wind, not the scale of the
domestic need. This export focus will foster international trade agreements between Ireland
and net hydrogen importers like Germany and Belgium.
Exporting green hydrogen enables Ireland to play a key role in changing the risk to geopolitical
stability by creating a renewable source of European energy.

Offshore wind and green hydrogen
Figure 3. Ireland offshore wind potential can be reached when integrating green hydrogen into Irelands energy system

Supporting Ireland’s Green Hydrogen Supply Chain is key to achieving our climate action

For Ireland’s energy system to be sustainable, affordable, and secure by 2050, the green
hydrogen supply chain must be supported today in a similar approach to that taken for the
wind industry. We must support the move from fossil fuels to hydrogen for non-electrifiable
needs. We must create policy and regulatory framework for green hydrogen based on robust
safety standards while building an understanding of integrated energy systems.
Supports for renewable electricity, including the announcement of 2GW of offshore wind to
be ringfenced for electrolysis all benefit hydrogen production. It could be further supported
through the creation of Irish Hydrogen Valleys – a cluster of research, production and industry
enabled by EU funding and public-private financing. A nuanced approach to the development
of private hydrogen pipelines and electrical infrastructure will also support hydrogen
production. Such market signals will encourage foreign direct investment by large energy
companies as well as supporting the indigenous renewable energy supply chain.
Large energy users require certainty and support if they are to transition from fossil fuel use
to hydrogen use instead. Access to Green Hydrogen will ensure companies continue to grow
their operations in Ireland as well as attracting new foreign direct investment with a
sustainability agenda. It could also attract new industries to Ireland that rely on availability
of green hydrogen, such as renewable fertiliser production, thus increasing food security and
reducing emissions from agriculture.
In the short term, hydrogen could be transported to industry by injecting green hydrogen into
the existing gas network which is being upgraded to receive a hydrogen blend from the UK by
2025 in any event. Building on the existing certification process for biomethane in Ireland, it
enables foreign direct investment to decarbonise their operations in advance of a dedicated
hydrogen pipe network.
Key to progressing this strategy is translating the hydrogen strategy into short-, medium-, and
long-term actions in the 2022 Climate Action Plan and next National Energy and Climate Plan,
including a national approach to informing stakeholders and citizens about Green Hydrogen.
Ireland’s hydrogen strategy can lead the way in creating policy for an integrated energy
system in Ireland. The additional workload created could be met by additional resources for
the departments and agencies involved coupled with a collaborative approach between
previously silo-ed parts of the energy sector. We in EIH2 look forward to supporting the next
steps of the energy transition.

Green Hydrogen Ireland Europe Schematic Graphic end users
Figure 4. EIH2’s supply chain schematic

About EIH2

EIH2 have assembled some of the most experienced and competent professionals in the hydrogen sector. Our interdisciplinary team is here to facilitate the emerging hydrogen industry and assist ‘hard-to-decarbonise’ sectors in Ireland to achieve their emissions targets.

EIH2 is the only dedicated hydrogen developer in Ireland, therefore, the team understand the unique challenges faced in project development. The time for hydrogen is now, as signaled by the launch of REPowerEU and EIH2 are helping companies to unlock the decarbonising potential of green hydrogen. Reach out today to learn more.

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