GenComm Programme Manager Paul McCormack. Photo: Iain White Photography

Major hydrogen event to take place

Cork’s ever-growing potential as the hydrogen capital of Ireland is about to get another boost with a major event taking place here next week.

The 29-30 March partner meeting of the Belfast Met-led EU hydrogen project GenComm is to be held on Leeside this year with the theme, Hydrogen, Ireland’s Opportunity.

A number of key stakeholders from the Irish energy sector will make presentations at the event including ESB, Gas Networks Ireland, Irving Oil, EIH2, the IDA and Energy Cork.

Speaking this week, ESB’s Hydrogen Development Manager in Cork, Kevin O’Donoghue, said: “We cannot overlook the benefits of adding value to renewables such as offshore wind through the production of hydrogen, and bringing industrial growth to the region.”

Minister for Transport, Climate, Environment and Communications Eamon Ryan recently highlighted the Cork region as being suited to lead the way in hydrogen energy because of the existing and natural infrastructure.

Jack Reardon, a project engineer at Cork hydrogen company EIH2, will be presenting Green Hydrogen, An Opportunity for Cork at the event, showcasing the immense green energy potential and its key role in enabling national/EU achievement of net zero.

Denis Crotty, Managing Director at EIH2, said: “Green hydrogen can play a key role in decarbonising Cork’s significant power generation and industry clusters, enhance energy security and create long-term, highly-skilled sustainable jobs.”

EIH2 are collaborating with Energy Cork, Hydrogen Ireland members and other key stakeholders to explore a ‘Cork Hydrogen Valley’. Nationally, EIH2 offers a specialised hydrogen consultancy service to Irish industries who actively seek to decarbonise their processes by integrating green hydrogen into their operations.

Kieran Lettice, Cluster Manager at Energy Cork stressed the important role hydrogen can play in Ireland’s energy transition, as well as the advantages of a green hydrogen hub in the Cork region.

“Many of our cluster members will have a positive role to play in the development of the hydrogen economy in Ireland and we’re pleased to facilitate this conversation,” said Mr Lettice.

Gas Networks Ireland will be discussing how its existing skills and assets will be utilised in the development of hydrogen networks. Gearoid Fitzgerald, Hydrogen Commercial Lead at Gas Networks Ireland said: “We believe that Ireland’s gas network will be the lynchpin in Ireland’s future hydrogen economy by connecting hydrogen production, storage and end-users within hydrogen clusters as they emerge at Cork and at other sites around the country.”

The event there also see the Irish launch of the GenComm EST, (Enabling Support Tool) which went live globally on 31 January. The GenComm EST is an online tool that allows stakeholders to identify the ideal bus routes that are suitable for the use of hydrogen buses. In addition, possible variants for economically valid mixed fleets, (hydrogen, electric and diesel) are identified.