Belfast Met's story
GENCOMM ("GENerating energy secure COMMunities") is a project run by Belfast Metropolitan College in partnership with a range of industry and academic institutions, aiming to demonstrate the potential of obtaining and delivering green hydrogen effectively and efficiently, to meet a range of heating, power and transport fuel demands.
Partnering with local organisations has been essential in making this project a reality, and Belfast Met has partnered with Hy Energy, TK Renewables, and Viridian Energy Supply Limited, alongside partners further afield in Europe.
The project involves connecting three pilot plants that obtain hydrogen from solar, wind and bioenergy respectively to a local energy network that will transmit the power generated from this green hydrogen to end-users.
The choice of solar, wind and bioenergy to obtain hydrogen from water is very deliberate: they are the three main renewable energy sources in northwest Europe. A project that can demonstrate technically and financially that it is feasible to obtain and deliver green hydrogen in this way could also have a huge, positive impact in many more communities across the continent.
Useful learnings from Belfast Met
Belfast Met works with local partners, but for a project like this it's important to look further afield. Research and technology work best when global expertise is shared, so working with partners across the European Union makes the project more likely to succeed and has bigger potential upside for wider use.
Don't reinvent something that's already happening; instead, look for something that can make a tangible difference. Belfast Met's research is not only new - there's a huge gap for projects like this.
GENCOMM could help communities in Northern Ireland, as well as across northwest Europe, to take up new, cleaner fuel types and to decarbonise by switching away from fossil fuels.
Belfast Met's metrics
Stimulate the uptake of green hydrogen-based technologies by successfully running 3 demonstration facilities.
Establish a strong group of energy stakeholders devoted to making local energy networks in countries across northwest Europe more sustainable, through the use of green hydrogen.