Massive “Hydrogen Valley” plans announced for Galway

Galway daily news Galway hydrogen hub plans
L-R: Dermott Crombie, Aran Ferries, Lasta Mara Teoranta, Rory Monaghan, NUIG, Stephen Kent, CIE, Conor O’Dowd, Port Galway, Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Louise Glennon SSER, John O’Sullivan, SSER, Jarlath Conneely, Aer Arrann, Maurice O’Gorman, Port of Galway.

Galway will be the home of a massive new renewable Hydrogen energy hub under plans announced this week.

During a visit to the Port of Galway on Thursday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the Galway Hydrogen Hub, a consortium of different industry sectors.

They will work together to create a Hydrogen Valley in Galway, similar to those in other countries bringing together hydrogen research, production, distribution, and transportation.

The GH2 consortium consists of NUI Galway, the Port of Galway, CIÉ Group and Bus Éireann, Aran Islands Ferries, Lasta Mara Teo, Aer Arann Islands, and SSE Renewables.

“It is proposed that the gas will eventually be used in transport, industry and within local communities in the greater Galway region,” Micheál Martin said.

He added that the full details of the project will be announced in the coming weeks.

“But I wanted to take the time, while I was physically here in Galway, to commend everyone involved for the ambition, creativity and forward thinking that you’re displaying in this project.”

It is anticipated that the hydrogen transportation hub could be operational by the second half of 2024.

John O’Sullivan, SSE Renewables’ Project Manager for GH2 said that green hydrogen is achieving international recognition as a way to decarbonise “heavy duty and long-distance transport” as well as industry.

“The development of Ireland’s first Hydrogen Valley in Galway Harbour will allow us to utilise indigenous renewable energy to produce green hydrogen for use by local air, sea, road and rail transport alongside industry.”

Dr Rory Monaghan at NUI Galway said that the future of sustainable growth in the region will depend on the availability of local renewable energy.

“We are witnessing huge strides in the greening of our electricity grid with wind, but we use twice as much energy for transport, almost all of which is imported fossil fuel. 

“The key innovation of GH2 is the use of wind to drive a zero emission, multi modal transport sector.”

The production of green hydrogen involves using electricity to separate water into its oxygen and hydrogen component parts, in a process called electrolysis.

Once produced, the gas can then be condensed to a liquid for easier transportation and long term storage.

The only emissions that come from using hydrogen fuel is water vapour, compared with carbon dioxide given off by burning fossil fuels.