Ireland Building Hydrogen Testing Facility
Gas Networks Ireland (GNA) is constructing a hydrogen testing facility at Brownsbarn in West Dublin, the grid operator has told NGW.
Ireland is due to mostly run out of gas over the next decade, with the government predicting that it will be more than 90% reliant on imports by 2030, as a result of Corrib and other key fields reaching depletion. However, hydrogen can be fed into Ireland's existing gas network and is "an attractive option to decarbonise energy systems," GNA said.
The facility GNA is building consists of a small, standalone gas network representative of the national grid that will be tested with pure hydrogen, hydrogen-natural gas and hydrogen-renewable gas mixes. Testing is expected to begin in 2021.
GNA said hydrogen and renewable gases were set to play a core role in making Ireland's grid carbon-neutral by 2050.
"Developing this test facility is a first step in identifying how hydrogen can be safely introduced into Ireland’s gas network. In Ireland, hydrogen would leverage the existing gas network to maximise the potential of our renewable resources, particularly offshore wind," GNA's head of operations James Burchill said in a statement shared with NGW. "By turning excess renewable electricity into hydrogen, we can substantially reduce emissions, increase energy security and provide the flexible energy that existing gas customers demand."