Over the last 5 years several Interreg projects have addressed the energy sustainability challenges of  communities through the implementation of smart hydrogen-based energy matrixes. The GENCOMM project for example validates the maturity of hydrogen technologies by implementing 3 pilot plants that link the 3 main northwest European renewable sources (Solar Power, Wind Power, and Bioenergy) with energy storage and the main forms of energetic demand (Heat, Power and Transportation fuels). Based on the pilot plants; integrated technical and financial simulation models will be developed.  Together, both models will form a Decision Support Tool (DST) that provides a roadmap for communities to transition to renewable, hydrogen-based energy matrixes. The final goal of the project is, through the combination of sources and forms of demand, to lead NWE’s road to sustainability while granting hydrogen its position as a commercially viable energy medium for the future.  In this way the project hopes to:

  1. Empower communities to implement hydrogen-based energy matrixes to sustainably satisfy their energy demand.
  2. Stimulate the uptake of renewable hydrogen-based technologies by successfully running 3 demonstration facilities.
  3. Establish a strong group of energy stakeholders devoted to, through the use of hydrogen, “sustainabilise” the energy matrix of the NWE region

An example of a small community seeking to produce hydrogen for their own use is Ireland’s Valentia island off the coast of County Kerry (see photo). Valentia Island Energy Co-operative have recently completed their ambitious local Energy Masterplan, and the production of hydrogen is detailed as a key strategic objective. The next step for the Co-Operative will be to complete a feasibility study, which will be undertaken by Energy Co- Operatives Ireland in early 2019. The development of GenComm’s Decision Support Tool (DST ) will be very timely for this project, and will be of significant benefit in making hydrogen production a reality for this small but remote community.

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Another small hydrogen community is taking shape aboe the salt caverns in Nothern Netherlands. From October 2018 onwards Energy Stock and Gasunie New Energy started commissioning the electrolyser in project HyStock co funded by the EU CEF prgram through the TSO2020 project . The electrolyser has an electrical capacity of 1 MW and has the purpose to convert green electricity into hydrogen.