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Aran Islands to be used as testing ground for research into using hydrogen as fuel

The research will use renewable energy to power a fleet of vans.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/matthi

THE ARAN ISLANDS is being used to study the feasibility of using hydrogen as fuel in a multi-million euro project that focuses on isolated areas.

The €3.5 million Seafuel project aims to demonstrate the value of using renewable energies, with no carbon footprint, to fuel transportation networks in remote Atlantic regions.

The NUI Galway led project is targeting regions where 30% of fuel consumption comes from local transportation. It is also being piloted in the Canary Islands and Madeira in Portugal.

Dr Pau Farràs Costa, who is leading the research, said it’s hoped that hydrogen can be used across the Atlantic region to power transportation and support a shift towards a low-carbon economy.

Seafuel proposes a sustainable way to power local transportation in isolated regions using renewable resources such as sun, wind and seawater, considering the inherent intermittency of such solar and wind energy.

A series of workshops and on site surveys will take place on the Aran Islands. On the island of Tenerife hydrogen will be used to power a fleet of government vans.

Source: Shutterstock/Mona Makela

Dr Farràs Costa said it would not be practical to roll out the vehicles on the Aran Islands because they would not offer any advantage over electric vehicles. This is because range is not an issue due to the size of the islands.

The project is co-financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area 2014-2020 programme.

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Ceimin Burke

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