EU Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) programme


Tubagus Aryandi Gunawan

Starting date


Finishing date


Summary and objectives

GENCOMM (GENerating energy secure COMMunities through smart Renewable Hydrogen) is a €9.3 million project funded by the EU Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) programme, whose aim is to demonstrate the use of hydrogen (H2) as a safe, clean and reliable energy storage technology for communities. Using H2 allows intermittent renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass) to be stored and/or transformed into other energy products such as electricity, vehicle fuel, biomethane, heat, and valuable chemicals. This will increase penetration of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and increase energy security in communities across Europe.

GENCOMM will achieve this by:

(1) building and safely operating three pilot-scale renewable H2 energy storage sites.

(2) creating technical and economic models of plant performance.

(3) developing an online map-based decision support tool, H2GO, which will assist others in developing renewable H2 systems in their own communities.

(4) creating a Europe-wide Community H2 Forum CH2F, which will foster H2 energy storage projects across Europe.

Researchers in the College of Engineering and Informatics at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) are leading the development of H2GO and the establishment of CH2F. Located on the west coast of Ireland and exposed to the power of the Atlantic Ocean, Galway is at the centre of North West Europe’s richest concentration of renewable energy potential. NUI Galway is situated 15 km from Ireland’s largest wind farm, with 170 MW of installed capacity. An additional 200 MW of capacity of biomass-ready thermal power plants lie within 100 km. At sea, the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Site tests one-quarter scale ocean energy prototypes, while Galway’s Aran Islands are earmarked to become Ireland’s first energy independent community.

H2GO will be a map-based user-friendly web app that will inform stakeholders on the economic viability of H2-based renewable energy storage for energy security in their communities. At its core will be models for the technical and financial performance of H2 storage. These models will be provided by GENCOMM partners INSA Rouen (technical) and TK Renewables (financial), and will in turn be informed by data gathered on-site at the three GENCOMM pilot sites. The design of the web app will be user-focused, meaning that potential users will be identified at an early stage and consulted on what outputs H2GO should give and how it should look and feel. This will be the first aim of the Community H2 Forum CH2F, with which NUI Galway is tasked with establishing. Key stakeholders including local, regional and national authorities, energy agencies, community development groups, energy cooperatives, electricity and gas grid operators, electricity generators, large energy users, educational institutions and others will be invited to participate in the CH2F and get involved in the design of H2GO. The second aim of the CH2F is to encourage the use of H2GO beyond the GENCOMM project and therefore to increase the use of safe, clean and reliable H­2 energy storage in communities across Europe.

Projected research outputs

As a PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering, Tubagus Aryandi Gunawan, will be the key person working on GENCOMM at NUI Galway. Hydrogen (H2) has the potential to be a safe, clean and reliable energy storage technology in the future, particularly for communities that use renewable energy. H2 can be produced by various renewable energy sources like wind, solar, biomass, and otehrs. As an intermediate product, H2 can also be transformed into other energy products such as electricity, vehicle fuel, biomethane, heat, and valuable chemicals. This product flexibility will increase the penetration of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and increase energy security in communities.

In order to deliver accurate data of renewable energy potential to stakeholders, an online map-based DST, H2GO, is proposed to be a platform to empower communities in designing, sizing and evaluating the cost of H2 production in their specific location. The map will geographically display renewable energy potential across northwest Europe. This visualised data can be used to assist communities in developing renewable H2 in a way specific to their resources and needs. The CH2F will be organised to strengthen the use of DST, to improve its contents and features and to enhance the public’s participation and awareness of H2 as an energy storage solution in the future.

As complementary work, modelling of H2 production plant from other renewable energy sources, beyond solar, wind and biogas, will be carried out. Of specific interest to the NUI Galway team is the synergistic integration of thermochemical bioenergy technologies including gasification and pyrolysis into the proposed H2 system and its expansion to power to gas (P2G).


GENCOMM: GENerating energy secure COMMunities through Smart Renewable Hydrogen