Sustainable e-fuels could meet half of Ireland’s future aviation demand, create 10,500+ jobs and reduce CO2 emissions, according to a new report.
A new report (full report at end of article) from representative body Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI) has made recommendations on how the development of a domestic hydrogen ecosystem can facilitate the production of sustainable e-fuels for use in aviation and shipping transport.
The report was launched by Minister Simon Coveney at ESB’s headquarters in Dublin.
“Doing so, will enable the growth of a domestic hydrogen and an e-fuels ecosystem which collectively, can create thousands of jobs, decarbonise transport and other industries, and open up access to a thriving global marketplace”
According to the report, the process of creating sustainable aviation fuels derived from hydrogen (e-SAF) for use in commercial aircraft has the potential to create more than 10,500 jobs across Ireland by 2050 – equivalent to a total Gross Added Value (GVA) of up to €230m per annum, increasing to more than €2.1bn through allowing Irish businesses to tap into the global market.
Call for concrete actions
“Through strong policy commitments from both the European Parliament and across the Member States, it is evident that e-fuels produced from hydrogen will contribute significantly to decarbonisation efforts in both the aviation and shipping transport sectors,” said Jonathan Hogan, business manager at Hydrogen Mobility Ireland.
“Ireland must now signal its own intent in this regard through concrete actions; leveraging the country’s significant wind energy capacity to facilitate the production of e-fuels, allocating sufficient funding to planned and future e-fuels projects and committing to a defined strategy to meet EU e-fuels targets. Doing so, will enable the growth of a domestic hydrogen and an e-fuels ecosystem which collectively, can create thousands of jobs, decarbonise transport and other industries, and open up access to a thriving global marketplace”.
The report makes a number of recommendations to enable Ireland to develop a domestic e-fuels sector, to include:
Feedstock security: Sufficient supply of renewable energy must be sourced to secure the hydrogen required to produce e-fuels, which could be leveraged through Ireland’s significant wind generation capacity.
Revenue certainty: The Government must provide clear and committed e-fuels policy commitments to reassure private investors and project developers.
Technology de-risking: To safeguard future investment, planned hydrogen and e-fuels projects must receive sufficient funding to ensure their viability.
Across Europe, there is broad consensus on the central role of e-fuels in transport decarbonisation efforts with France, Germany, Sweden and Norway all fully committed to an alternatively-fuelled future – and this has been supported by strong policy signals from the European Parliament.
Aviation and maritime provide essential connectivity for Ireland, inward and outward. HMI contends that planning and action for the full decarbonisation of these sectors must start now.
Alternative liquid fuels (e.g. biofuels and e-SAF), electrification and gaseous fuels (e.g. direct use of hydrogen in fuel cells) will all play roles in the full decarbonisation of the transport sector.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, TD, said that developing green hydrogen production at scale has clear and obvious benefits for Ireland – from creating a network of highly-skilled jobs, to decarbonising key sectors of our economy and society and building a resilient energy system.
“I welcome this report, which notes the potential for e-fuels to contribute to Ireland’s economic development, while stimulating crucial inward investment. Going forward, Ireland is uniquely positioned to export as both a net producer of green hydrogen, and as a producer of renewable fuels derived from hydrogen. It is therefore imperative that Ireland’s hydrogen potential is fully realised – and the Government is taking important steps to achieve this.”