For Oral Answer on : 16/12/2021
Question Number(s): 55 Question Reference(s): 62066/21
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Transport if he will report on the fulfilment of the Programme for Government commitment to develop hydrogen as a fuel for the transport sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan 2021 signal the relevance of hydrogen from renewable sources, known as ‘green hydrogen’, for its future potential to support decarbonisation in energy production, home heating, industry and in transport. For example, from a post-2025 transport perspective, it is envisaged that green hydrogen may contribute to the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors such as HGVs, shipping and, potentially, the manufacture of synthetic sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs).
My Department continues to provide policy support for industry-led initiatives focusing on hydrogen for future transport use. This includes the Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI) multi-stakeholder group and the Galway Green Hydrogen Hub (G2H2) group.
The evaluation of the Hydrogen bus trial by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in collaboration with Bus Éireann, involving three new hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric double-deck buses on commuter services in the Greater Dublin Area, will also help to inform the future potential of this new technology within our public bus transport system.
The Renewable Fuels for Transport Policy Statement was published on the 25th November sets out the future trajectory of increase in renewable fuels use in land transport, including incentives for future supply for use in transport of fuels such as biomethane and green hydrogen. My Department also intends, in early 2022, to carry out an assessment concerning the future availability of renewable fuels, which will inform implementation of this Policy beyond 2025.
The alternatively fuelled heavy-duty vehicles grant will continue in 2022, aimed at supporting take-up of technologies such as CNG, biogas and hydrogen to decarbonise the heavy-duty freight sector. In addition, the accelerated capital allowance scheme for natural gas propelled vehicles and related equipment, include hydrogen vehicles and equipment, and the reduced excise rate on natural gas, will continue into 2022.
As yet the transport market demand for hydrogen infrastructure for transport fuelling remains to be established, whether for national land transport modes or for international shipping and aviation. This is being kept under review by my Department with regard to informing future national and international policy development concerning renewable fuel and fueling infrastructure for transport.
In furthering consideration of these matters, officials of my Department are working with cross-Government colleagues, agencies and stakeholders concerning preparation and next steps for Ireland’s future approach in relation to the potential use of green hydrogen in transport. As part of this, my Department is in discussion with the Department of the Taoiseach concerning relevant research in early 2022 under the Shared Island Fund.