German parliamentarian and innovation commissioner for green hydrogen Stefan Kaufmann said the visit was to discuss opportunities for co-operation and collaboration between Ireland and Germany in this area.
Green hydrogen is seen as having a key role to play in creating a decarbonised future, replacing natural gas, diesel and gasoline in ships, trucks, buses and cars. It also has the potential to serve as a significant industrial power source and fuel district heating systems.
West coast of Ireland
While Germany aims to become a world leader in green hydrogen technologies, Dr Kaufmann acknowledged it did not have the wind energy potential of other regions, including the west coast of Ireland
“I wanted to come to Foynes to get a deeper understanding of the potential here and the opportunity is undeniable because of the wind power available off the coast, the deep estuary waters which are essential for development activity, the available land bank and the port authority’s ambition and strategic approach,” he said.
Shannon Foynes Port chief executive Pat Keating, who met the German delegation, said it was clear there was “ a huge opportunity” for Ireland to export its energy to Germany “given its focus on becoming a hydrogen powered economy, but also that it does not have the capacity to produce the required quantities of hydrogen itself”.