Economy Minister for Northern Ireland, Diane Dodds, has said that the time is now right for the country to explore the development of a local hydrogen economy.
Dodds was speaking on 15 September, having met with some of the country’s leading players in the hydrogen space. Dodds explained that hydrogen will create the opportunity for new sustainable jobs and would underpin zero carbon economic growth, adding that Northern Ireland has the potential to develop an “enviable reputation” within the global hydrogen economy owed to its indigenous wind resources and local talent with a “proven track record with innovation”.
Dodds had met with Bamford Bus, Clean Power Hydrogen (CPH2), Energia and B9 Energy Storage, all of whom have involvement in the hydrogen space. Bamford Bus is delivering new buses to Translink with hydrogen fuel cells powered by green hydrogen from a local Energia windfarm, while a joint venture between CPH2 and B9 Energy is working towards the manufacture of a membrane free electrolyser in Northern Ireland for worldwide distribution. Dodds said: “With the global demand for electrolysers set to soar, my vision is that we will create the world’s largest manufacturing base for electrolysers. This will leverage Northern Ireland’s expertise in advanced materials handling and engineering and create hundreds of direct sustainable jobs, with thousands in the supply chain. It will provide a lasting legacy from the challenge of taming climate change.”