Green energy company EI-H2 has announced plans for the country's first green hydrogen facility, which will create more than 85 jobs in Co Cork.
EI-H2 intends to seek planning permission for a 50MW electrolysis plant in Aghada, Co Cork, which when operational will remove 63,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year from Irish industry and power generation.
Upon completion, the site will be one of the biggest green energy facilities of its kind in the world.
EI-H2, which is owned by Pearse Flynn, said that over 85 full-time direct and indirect jobs will be created and the company hopes the Cork plant will be operational before the end of 2023.
The cost of construction and connection to the electricity grid is expected to be in the region of €120m.
The proposed site has been selected because of its proximity to an existing triangle of energy generation, including power generating stations, heavy industry and an oil refinery.
There is also potential to export green hydrogen in the future using a fleet of environmentally friendly ships.
By 2050, it is estimated that green hydrogen will account for 80% of the shipping industry's energy demand, the vast majority of which will be in the form of green ammonia. The same product will meet an estimated 60% of the aviation sector's energy demand.
EI-H2 said the facility will be designed to assist commercial customers struggling to reduce their carbon output, who will increasingly need environmentally-sound and sustainable energy alternatives.
The Aghada site will aim to provide over 20 tonnes of green, safe hydrogen per day to the commercial market.
The green hydrogen produced at the plant can be safely added to existing natural gas supplies, helping high volume energy producers to reduce their carbon emissions.
Pearse Flynn said that Ireland is starting to take leadership in tackling climate change.
"The production of hydrogen from excess wind capacity will play a significant role in Ireland's decarbonisation, given that Ireland could be generating 8 GW of offshore wind by 2030," Mr Flynn said.
"There inevitably will be "curtailed" energy that will go to waste unless we find ways of using it. EI-H2 is planning the production of safe and environmentally-sound green hydrogen that will allow industry to decarbonise," he said.
"This initiative will create and sustain local jobs, and go a long way towards helping Ireland meet its international obligations on climate change," he added.