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ESB and dCarbonX to partner on green hydrogen storage development in Ireland

ESB and dCarbonX have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint assessment and development of Irish offshore green hydrogen subsurface storage. This partnership represents another milestone in Ireland’s emerging hydrogen economy as part of its transition to a low-carbon future.

Under this agreement, ESB and dCarbonX will work together on licensing, environmental studies, site selection, project sanctioning, offshore infrastructure development, commissioning and operations in areas that are adjacent to ESB’s existing and planned future infrastructure.

This partnership covers all subsea energy storage offshore in Ireland and will also support the creation of a proposed new Green Hydrogen Valley centered around the Poolbeg peninsula in Dublin, which will enable green hydrogen production and storage that can be used to decarbonize heavy transport, shipping, industry and power generation.

ESB recognizes that hydrogen produced from renewable electricity will play a significant role in the decarbonization of many sectors. To that end, we plan to use our existing capabilities and future renewable growth to become a leading player in large scale renewable hydrogen production, thereby enabling renewable electricity, in the form of electrons or green molecules, to meet the energy requirements of Ireland’s future zero-carbon economy.

—Padraig O’Hiceadha, ESB Strategy Manager, Generation and Trading

The large-scale storage of green hydrogen is a cornerstone of future low carbon, resilient and reliable energy sectors. Storing green hydrogen at scale in subsurface offshore caverns is a safe and cost-effective solution, enabling the large-scale deployment of intermittent renewable energy while also improving national security of supply and reducing system energy losses.

ESB operates across the Irish electricity market; from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers with an expanding presence in the British power generation market. In addition, ESB supplies gas and energy services and uses its networks to carry fiber for telecommunications.

ESB is the owner of the distribution and transmission networks in the Republic of Ireland (managed by ESB Networks) and Northern Ireland (via Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Ltd). In 2020 ESB had a 29% share of generation in the Irish all-island market (via ESB Generation and Trading) and a 34% share of electricity supply in the Irish all-island market (via Electric Ireland) with 1.5 million customer accounts.

dCarbonX Ltd is a GeoEnergy company established to develop subsurface hydrogen storage, carbon sequestration & geothermal baseload assets to facilitate the energy transition. Based in London & Dublin, dCarbonX Ltd is building a portfolio of high-value assets offshore Ireland & the United Kingdom. dCarbonX is strategically supported by Stena Drilling, AGR, Fugro, & CGG.

Comments

Davemart

Great news for decarbonisation! Of course, battery only loons will not approve, but hydrogen can decarbonise areas batteries cannot possibly help with, from fertiliser production to steel and cement as well as heavy long distance transport including shipping and by air.

mahonj

I have mixed views on this. They are putting a load of offshore wind on the east coast of Ireland - far more than we need, and it looks like they plan to soak up the excess by making hydrogen (and storing it and piping it around).
This looks OK, until you look at the cost of electricity from Solar in (say) Oman or Portugal. And you can transport H2 (or NH3) around in tankers (or you will be able to soon).
So it seems to me that we will be flooded with green hydrogen of one form or another in about 10 years - and people making it from offshore wind will end up selling it at a loss.*
https://www.carbonbrief.org/solar-is-now-cheapest-electricity-in-history-confirms-iea
* and as an Irish taxpayer, I will probably end up funding this.

Davemart

@mahonj

The East coast of Ireland? That should not be a problem, as it can be offtaken just fine to England.

The wind resources to the West of Ireland are where it gets more difficult, and conversion to hydrogen etc come more into play.

mahonj

@Dave; FYI: as you say, there is more and better wind in the west, but Eirgrid expect loads of trouble trying to bring it across the country (pylon protests etc.) so they will develop less powerful wind on the east coast, nearer the main population centre of Dublin.
+ it is still expensive to build undersea cables from Ireland to the UK.

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