Valentia Island in Kerry has been selected as a location for a study exploring the role of hydrogen in decarbonising energy.

The research will particularly focus on the use cases in the area of the marine, but the potential for business and other transport methods will also be explored.

The H2ORIZON study will be funded by the Brussels-based Clean Hydrogen Partnership and will be conducted by hydrogen consultants.

"What we are looking to introduce is a fundamental shift in how we think about decarbonisation," said Colum O'Connell, chairman of the Valentia Island Energy Group.

"Other governments around the world recognise the opportunities hydrogen can bring and are developing strategies to develop green hydrogen."

Mr O'Connell added that the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2023 includes specific actions to enable the use of hydrogen across industry, enterprise and transport.

"However, we need more clarity at national level on what our strategy is," he said.

The research will look at opportunities where hydrogen produced from renewable energy can complement the role of electrification in decarbonising Valentia Island.

Examples might include offering green hydrogen infrastructure for tourism and marine transport and powering industry such as the local distillery.

"A key part of our Net Zero by 2040 strategy is the production and storage of zero carbon electricity and green hydrogen from our growing portfolio of wind and solar generation," Aodhan McAleer, Hydrogen Manager at ESB, which is working with the consultants.

"As such, projects such as this in Valentia Island are critical to learning how our future energy system will work and benefit key industries such as marine transport as well as providing back-up generation."

In total 15 regions, including Valentia, have been selected to take part in the study.