10,500 jobs could be created across the country by 2050 through the production of sustainable aviation fuels for use in aircraft and shipping that are derived from hydrogen, a new report finds.
The analysis, by Hydrogen Mobility Ireland, also predicts that up to €230m per year could be added to the Irish economy through the development of fuels for use domestically.
This would rise to over €2.1bn by allowing Irish firms to tap into the growing export market for such fuels globally.
While for maritime use, the economic boost for Ireland would be worth €45-75m domestically and up to €22 million in the global market.
The study estimates that sustainable e-fuels could meet half of Ireland’s future aviation demand.
However, in order to achieve the aim, the report says certain measures have to be put in place, including the provision of sufficient supplies of renewable energy need to help produce the hydrogen that is needed to create the e-fuels.
Clear and committed e-fuels policy commitments are also required from Government, the research claims, to provide assurance to investors and project developers.
Sufficient funding is also needed to ensure the viability of hydrogen and e-fuels projects, the report also concludes.
“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,” says Jonathan Hogan, Business Manager at Hydrogen Mobility Ireland
“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.”
A number of countries across Europe, including France, Germany, Norway and Sweden, have committed to the future use of alternative fuels in transport, either through the implementation of projects or the authorisation of legislative mandates for them.
The European Parliament has provided strong policy signals of support, with the EU having agreed a target of use of 35% e-sustainable aviation fuel by 2050.
In maritime, hydrogen-derived synthetic fuels must comprise at least 2% of the EU’s shipping fuels by 2034.
While across transport more generally, a target of 5.5% of volume has been agreed for renewable fuels of non-biological origin and advanced biofuels by 2030.
The report has been launched by Minister for Enterprise, Simon Coveney, who said developing green hydrogen production at scale has clear and obvious benefits for Ireland.
“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,” he said.
“It is therefore imperative that Ireland’s hydrogen potential is fully realised – and the Government is taking important steps to achieve this.”