Green light for hydrogen vehicles on Irish roads

Paul McCormack, programme manager on renewable hydrogen project GenComm, welcomes the launch of the Hydrogen Mobility Ireland report..

‘A Hydrogen Roadmap for Irish Transport 2020-2030-Hydrogen Mobility Ireland’

The report from the relatively new industry group is aimed at demonstrating how hydrogen can help in the decarbonisation of the Irish transport fleet.

It was presented last year to Richard Bruton TD, Minister For Communications, Climate Action and Environment, and it gives the green light for hydrogen vehicles, including 30 buses, 50 cars and 10 trucks, to be rolled out on Irish roads by 2023.

The Gencomm project, led by Belfast Met, will develop three pilot facilities fuelled by solar power (Germany), wind power (Northern Ireland) and bioenergy (Scotland) to produce and store hydrogen.

Hydrogen produced from the plants will be used to generate heat, power and transport fuel for the respective communities in Germany, the North and Scotland.

GenComm programme manager and Hydrogen Ireland member Paul McCormack said: “The GenComm project welcomes the launch of the Hydrogen Mobility Strategy for Ireland.

“Decarbonising transport fuels and the electricity supply are prime requirements under the Paris agreement.

“As Ireland plans and develops a successful energy transition away from fossil fuels and towards the widespread use of secure renewable energy supply it will require the exploitation and implementation of existing and new technologies with industry stakeholders/customers having commercial confidence in them.

“This strategy forms the building blocks of this confidence required by the market and illustrates how Hydrogen can be part of the future green energy mix for Ireland.”

McCormack foresees the hydrogen vehicles in Ireland as being a vital part of the move towards growing a hydrogen economy.

GenComm will technically and financially validate renewable H2, and develop a Decision Support Tool (DST) to enable stakeholders and communities to transition to renewable hydrogen.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles consume hydrogen as a fuel to produce electrical power for the vehicle, with water vapour the only byproduct.

Hydrogen Mobility Ireland has set forward the business case and rationale for both the private sector and Government to support the provision of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Report findings:

  • Ireland should follow the lead of countries like China, US and Japan who have committed to each having in the region of one million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2030;
  • The government should apply similar incentives to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as they do to battery electric vehicles;
  • Hydrogen vehicles will be cost-competitive with conventional fuel vehicles by mid next decade. Buses, vans and taxis could be deployed as the catalyst for market establishment;
  • Recommends building clusters of refuelling stations to give early adopters confidence;
  • A first deployment project involving two hydrogen production sources and three refuelling stations are presented. This can be done at a cost of €34 million, and will require €14 million of funding from government;
  • By 2030, a network of 76 stations would ensure that 50 per cent of the population of the island would live in a town with a hydrogen refuelling station as well as providing adequate coverage of major roads, while a network of 27 electrolysers collocated with renewable generators (mostly wind farms) would supply the hydrogen fuel;
  • In a positive adoption scenario this will lead to a national fuel call fleet of 2,000 HGVs, 880 bus/coaches, 6,800 vans and 29,000 cars by 2030;
  • Hydrogen could abate 300,000 tonnes CO2 annually (two per cent of transport emissions) with the potential for this to significantly increase in the 2030s. The cost of this abatement would be between €75-100/tonne.
The full report is available by following this link 

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