Clean energy activity has been penetrating the surface of Ireland for several years and is suddenly in full bloom thanks to the emergence of new technology, including green hydrogen and floating wind turbines. This is good news for the economy and great news for the rest of Europe, which is struggling to get out of the Russian fossil energy import network.
Ireland and wind energy and green hydrogen
Our friends code BBC last year ran figures on the renewable energy profile in Northern Ireland and noted the expansive growth of wind energy. They also highlighted the key role of energy storage, with green hydrogen in front and in the middle.
Last January Irish Times noted that the Republic of Ireland is one of the few EU member states yet to formulate a hydrogen strategy, but also noted that pan-Irish organization Wind Energy Ireland and other proponents are pushing for government policymakers to pick up green hydrogen and long-life beads. energy storage.
For those of you wondering what it is, hydrogen is ubiquitous in the modern global economy, in agriculture, food processing, toiletries, medicines and other products, in addition to serving as a flammable fuel and input for producing electricity without fuel cell emissions. for stationary use and in the transport sector (aircraft as well).
The primary source of hydrogen today is natural gas, and to a lesser extent coal and recovered waste, and this explains why industry stakeholders (with one notable exception) are falling by the wayside to find a more sustainable hydrogen supply chain. The biggest favorite is electrolysis, which uses electricity – of course from renewable sources – and a catalyst to push hydrogen out of the water.
More green hydrogen for Ireland
Hydrogen is the input of the industrial process, fuel, energy carrier and long-lasting energy storage medium at once, which means green hydrogen can juggle a lot of balls in the bright green economy of the future, especially for Ireland, which lacks domestic oil and gas but has enough wind energy in general (note: in the rest of this article North and Republic are mixed. Leave a note in a series of comments if you want to add more details for our readers).
As for green hydrogen, Mercury Renewables is excited about its plans to launch the first onshore wind farm of its kind along with an electrolyzer system in Mayo County. Named Firlough, the 75-megawatt project has been running for more than 10 years, with part of the delay due to bottlenecks in electricity transmission infrastructure. The hydrogen angle will help make room for alternative transportation and additional uses.
More green hydrogen for more fuel cell electric vehicles
In Galway last April, SSE Renewables drew attention to the launch of Hydrogen Valley, a project of the Galway Hydrogen Hub consortium. In addition to SSE, the members are NUI Galway, Luka Galway, CIÉ Group and Bus Éireann, Aran Islands Ferries, Lasta Mara Teo and Aer Arann Islands.
“The Hydrogen Valley is a regional ecosystem that connects hydrogen exploration, production, distribution and transportation with a variety of end users such as transportation and industry. The use of indigenous renewable hydrogen in the Vodka Valleys is considered an important step towards enabling the development of a new hydrogen economy, ”explains SSE.
The flagship project of Hydrogen Valley is a green hydrogen demonstration plant, which will be used for fuel cell trucks, buses and other vehicles. The idea is to replicate the model across Ireland.
More wind energy for Ireland
More details about the Hydrogen Valley project have just been announced by the Galway H2 consortium, so stay tuned for more on that.
Meanwhile, Simply Blue Group is also coming out with a big new announcement this week.
The company announced on June 21 that it is working on a new Olympic Offshore Wind project off the coast of Down County, following the previously announced Nomadic floating wind turbine project. The Nomadic project will be involved in the green hydrogen hub through MJM Renewables (a subsidiary of the MJM Group), so stay tuned for more.
For those of you who take care at home, the Olympic project will put another 1.3 gigawatts on the Irish offshore wind profile when it is fully built. The Nomadic project weighs 500 megawatts.
Much more wind energy for Ireland
Simply Blue has been pretty busy these days. Last fall, Shell invested a stake in Simply Blue’s 1.35-gigawatt Western Star floating wind project, which also includes a wave energy collection element. Altogether, the company has more than 9 gigawatts of sea wind in the pipeline, mostly in Ireland and the UK.
Last fall Irish Times he also described a new $ 10 billion 4 gigawatt wind farm project under the auspices of Enterprize Energy. The plan is to use wind energy for the green hydrogen market in Ireland.
“The project will provide electricity to a 4 gigawatt hydrogen plant in Ireland developed by E1-H2 and Zenith Energy. called Green Marlin, which could be produced as early as 2026, ”the Times reported. “Energy companies signed a precursor to an electricity purchase agreement, with EI-H2 purchasing energy.”
As he described Times, Enterprize and its partners also monitor the closely related emerging green ammonia market. Ammonia (NH3) is another one of those fossil-dependent industrial and agricultural chemicals that needs decarbonization, and green hydrogen finally provides an opportunity.
Ammonia can serve as an alternative transport medium for hydrogen, which would allow the Enterprize project to produce hydrogen for export, eventually.
Meanwhile, over in Russia
If Russia wants to keep its taste for global energy supply, it has a lot of work to do. President Vladimir Putin’s murderous rampage through Ukraine has prompted the whole of Europe to quickly shut down the fossil energy outlet from Russia, and Ukraine intends to use its significant renewable energy sources to remove Russian fingers from Europe’s energy cake, especially with regard to green hydrogen.
It is also worth noting that wind activity at sea is increasing in the Baltic Sea, where Russia maintains its only seaport and naval base in the Kaliningrad region. The outpost is completely surrounded by Lithuania and Poland, but was assigned to Russia when the dust settled after the Second World War.
If Putin and his planners had thought ahead, they could have used Kaliningrad to gain a foothold in the Baltic Sea wind power industry, but unfortunately. As with many other renewable energy options – and in other things – they let this one slip out of their fingers.
When it was last heard, Kaliningrad was dealing with the consequences of the ban on the transport of sanctioned products from the rest of Russia by rail, which was introduced by Lithuania in accordance with EU policy.
Follow me on twitter @TinaMCasey.
Photo: floating wind turbine at sea courtesy of Simply Blue Group.
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