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Transport Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Ceisteanna (112)

Joe Carey


112. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Transport if his Department or agencies under its remit are examining or support research into the use of hydrogen as a fuel to meet transport needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53593/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Programme for Government sets out the need for research and development of hydrogen from renewable sources, known as ‘green hydrogen’, for use as a fuel for power generation, manufacturing, energy storage and transport.

A Hydrogen Interdepartmental Working Group led by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications was established to inform Ireland's future policies in relation to hydrogen - concerning policy, regulation, and potential future use. The next steps concerning policy development concerning green hydrogen will be set out within the broader frame of the Climate Action Plan, expected to be finalised in the coming week.

My Department continues to provide policy support for industry led initiatives focusing on hydrogen for future transport use, for example, the hard to abate heavy duty vehicles sector. This includes the Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI) multi-stakeholder group and the Galway Green Hydrogen Hub (G2H2) group.

HMI was established in February 2019 with the aim of developing and then overseeing the implementation of a strategy to introduce the use of hydrogen for mobility between 2019 and 2030 and understanding the policies required for the hydrogen mobility market to grow in Ireland.

The G2H2 Consortium will investigate the feasibility of a green hydrogen hub for Galway and includes stakeholders from SSE and Greencoat Renewables, National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) and the Port of Galway.

The evaluation of the Hydrogen bus trial by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in collaboration with Bus Éireann, involving three new hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric double-deck buses on commuter services in the Greater Dublin Area, will help to inform the future potential of this new technology within our public bus transport system.

The Alternatively Fuelled Heavy Duty Vehicle Purchase Grant Scheme, administered by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) this year, was also aimed at supporting take-up of such new technologies to decarbonise the heavy-duty freight sector.

However, the transport market demand for hydrogen infrastructure for transport fuelling remains to be established, whether for national land transport modes or for international shipping and aviation. This is being kept under review by my Department with regard to informing future national and international policy development concerning renewable fuel and fuelling infrastructure for transport.