The programme for Government recognises the need for research and development of hydrogen from renewable sources, known as green hydrogen, for use in power generation and as a zero-emission energy source in difficult to decarbonise sectors such as transport and industry.
In July 2020, the European Commission published a hydrogen strategy for a carbon-neutral Europe. Ireland supported the hydrogen strategy, including the need to deploy green hydrogen in line with the programme for Government. Ireland also supported the publication of the Council conclusions on a hydrogen market for Europe in October 2020. In the development of these conclusions, Ireland strongly supported the need to focus on green hydrogen. I expect further initiatives to assist in the development of green hydrogen to form part of the European Commission's proposals to reform the gas regulation and directive. These proposals are expected later this year and I expect them to be discussed at the Council of energy ministers meeting in December.
As part of the development of the climate action plan, my Department is working with relevant Departments, agencies and stakeholders to examine the future role of green hydrogen and identify the policies and measures we need to ensure its deployment. These policies and measures will need to ensure green hydrogen is developed in a cost-effective way while contributing to our commitment of net zero emissions by 2050. In this regard, the 2021 climate action plan will to set out a range of actions focused on the development of green hydrogen in Ireland.