A new project co-ordinated by the National University of Ireland Galway and Logan Energy will power service vehicles in Tenerife with renewable hydrogen.
The company will build a refuelling unit in Scotland, which will then power three service vehicles on the island of Tenerife. The project has been dubbed SEAFUEL, and is currently at the design stage, with installation expected to begin early in 2019.
The project is being co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the 2014-2020 INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme, in recognition of the fact that it will take an important step towards implementing renewable energy into maritime shipping.
How does the technology work?
The SEAFUEL system will use renewable energy to power desalination of sea water, turning it into clean water which will then be used to produce hydrogen fuel for service vehicles. Additionally, the project will also explore new approaches to electrolysing directly from sea water, which could prove a vital innovation for the future of renewables in maritime.
Further, the project will demonstrate the feasibility of using fuels produced by renewable energy sources and seawater with no net carbon footprint to local transportation network operators. Islands like Tenerife pay a high cost for electricity and fuel, and 30% of fuel is used on transport.
Therefore, there is a strong economic and environmental case to use sustainable power sources, including solar, wind and seawater in the Canary Islands. SEAFUEL will take the innovative step of lowering energy costs while also reducing the transport sector’s significant greenhouse gas emissions.
What did Logan Energy say about the project?
Bill Ireland, managing director of Logan Energy, said that the project would fully explore and demonstrate the value of hydrogen as a renewable fuel source. Further, the SEAFUEL system could have a wide-reaching and revolutionary impact for the worldwide transport sector.
He explained: “What we plan to demonstrate in the Canaries could be revolutionary in terms of how isolated areas, such as islands, are powered in the future. Making the most of their natural resources is not only important in terms of carbon footprint, but in cost. As world leaders in the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in commercial applications, we are pleased to be playing a pivotal role in this project which is so important for the future of the hydrogen and wider renewables industries.”