Jul 3, 2023
Whilst renewable hydrogen can offer many opportunities for Ireland, it is still very much a nascent technology with great uncertainty on the future costs, potential end-uses and the infrastructure, skills and supply chains needed to deliver on it. The National Hydrogen Strategy aims to reduce some of this uncertainty by providing the long-term strategic vision of what role hydrogen will play in our future economy, which will help to reduce commercial risk and ultimately help to drive investment from the private sector.
National Hydrogen Strategy: Key Points
1. Production Initiatives:
Ireland aims to scale up renewable hydrogen production.
By 2030, hydrogen will be produced from surplus renewables connected to the grid, primarily for transport and power system needs.
A target of 2 GW offshore wind for hydrogen production by 2030 is set to attract investors.
With its vast offshore wind resources, Ireland can become a net exporter of renewable hydrogen in the long run.
2. End Uses:
Renewable hydrogen will target sectors hard to decarbonise through energy efficiency or direct electrification.
Initial focus will be on heavy-duty transport, followed by industry and power generation.
Aviation and maritime are high-priority sectors but will develop slower.
By 2050, domestic hydrogen energy demand could range between 4.6 to 39 TWh, and up to 74.6 TWh when including international sectors.
3. Infrastructure Development:
Early hydrogen applications will use compressed tankering, transitioning to pipelines as production grows.
Regional hydrogen clusters will emerge, eventually linking into a national network.
Repurposing natural gas pipelines for hydrogen is a potential strategy.
Geological storage solutions are essential for long-term storage.
Ports will be crucial for the hydrogen economy, and integrated planning is vital for a net zero energy system.
4. Safety and Regulation:
A hydrogen safety roadmap is a priority.
Ireland should promptly adopt the EU Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas Package's regulatory market rules.
A certification scheme will be established in line with EU regulations.
Potential regulations might address hydrogen leakage and NOx emissions.
A comprehensive review is needed to address regulatory, licensing, and permitting gaps.
5. Innovation and Skills:
Global research and innovation are crucial for the competitiveness of renewable hydrogen.
Ireland's research strategy, "Impact 2030", prioritises climate research.
The National Hydrogen Strategy identifies short-term research needs for informed policymaking.
Leveraging EU resources for hydrogen R&D is essential.
Strategic international partnerships in renewable hydrogen are crucial.
A detailed assessment is required to understand the skills and employment opportunities related to renewable hydrogen in Ireland.
Read the strategy here: