In order to meet climate goals and limit greenhouse gas emissions, Ireland, along with many other nations have implemented Climate Action plans to develop alternative energy technologies and infrastructure to move away from the burning of fossil fuels. Presently, Michael Treco notes that wind and solar energy are the two main renewable energy resources being developed but both have limitations when it comes to supplying energy on immediate demand as burning fossil fuels is able to do.
Michael Treco believes in order to overcome these limitations, a gap stop or ability to more effectively store solar and wind energy, and then convert it directly into electricity when demand calls for it must be implemented to supplement these other technologies.
This current gap in energy production capabilities utilizing renewable resources is where the concept of green hydrogen can be an important factor in helping bridge that gap. Instead of having to produce hydrogen using technologies that are heavily reliant on fossil fuels themselves, new technology is allowing electrolysis to split hydrogen and oxygen from water
molecules into its base parts using solar or wind power to fuel that reaction.
Ireland is in a unique position to utilize this green hydrogen as a significant portion of its population is already connected to a natural gas grid that is capable of distributing hydrogen that can be used for heating homes which are significant as around one-quarter of all energy used in Ireland is utilized to heat homes. (Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland, n.d.)
As of 2018, Ireland was still behind in its goals to reduce the carbon output of its transportation sector. Many heavy machines and trucks are not well suited to rely on electric or battery power so finding another, high-density energy such as hydrogen power can help convert those sections of the transport system into sustainable fleets. (Farrelly, 2020)
This potential is already starting to be tapped, as there is a ten-billion-dollar agreement between multiple energy supplies in the natural gas and oil industry, wind power groups, an offshore design engineering firm, and energy purchasing companies to develop an offshore, wind-powered green hydrogen production facility. (Weekes, 2021)
Farrelly, G. (2020). Green Hydrogen: Ready for Take-off but will Ireland be on board?
[online] www.matheson.com. Available at:
https://www.matheson.com/insights/detail/green-hydrogen-ready-for-take-off-but-will-ireland-be-on-board [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].
PricewaterhouseCoopers (2021). Green hydrogen: a key part to play in Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy. [online] PwC. Available at:
https://www.pwc.ie/industries/energy-utilities/insights/green-hydrogen-key-transition-low-carbon-economy.html [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].
Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland. (n.d.). Residential. [online] Available at:
https://www.seai.ie/data-and-insights/seai-statistics/key-statistics/residential/#:~:text=For%202018%20we%20estimate%20that [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].
Weekes, N. (2021). Plans for 4GW Irish offshore wind farm to power green hydrogen facility.
[online] www.windpowermonthly.com. Available at:
https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1734452/plans-4gw-irish-offshore-wind-farm-power-green-hydrogen-facility [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].