The project

The project SEAFUELSustainable integration of renewable fuels in local transportation – with a total budget 3,497,632.98 €, is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme (Priority axis 2: Fostering resource efficiency. Specific objective 2.1: Fostering renewable energies and energy efficiency).

SEAFUEL aims to use the renewable resources across the Atlantic Area to power the local transport fleet and support the shift towards a low-carbon economy. The project will use the expertise and infrastructure of the partners in renewable energy, namely solar, wind and marine, to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen as a fuel to be used by the local transport authorities.

Overall objective

SEAFUEL aims to demonstrate the feasibility to power local transportation networks using fuels produced by renewable energies and seawater, with no net carbon footprint as promoted by the resource-efficient flagship initiative COM(2010)2020. It will cover technical innovation by a demonstration plant, a framework for policy implementation and a sustainability analysis of production, distribution and usage of hydrogen as an alternative fuel in remote Atlantic regions. The energy required will provide from renewable resources available across the Atlantic Area such as solar, wind and marine.

SEAFUEL will focus on enhancing the green growth and blue economy and paving the grounds for common renewable energy policies to promote clean and sustainable transport systems. Isolated areas such as islands face the specific challenge of the high cost of electricity and fuel and their dependency on mainland infrastructures. SEAFUEL will target these regions where 30% of fuel consumption comes from local transportation.

The project will drastically reduce greenhouse emissions, PM and NO2 in line with the Clean Air programme 2008/50/EC, and provide a pathway for isolated regions to become energetically independent, leading to future installations in the other Atlantic regions. An alternative fuels model for islands will be developed to fulfil the requirements of the Partners’ Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS3) aimed at low carbon economy and efficient use of marine resources.

WP 1

Project coordination

SEAFUEL will be effectively coordinated by the Lead Partner which will dedicate staff members and a part-time manager to deal with the day-to-day duties. The LP will oversee the management of each WP, led by AIET (WP2), AR (WP3), ITER (WP4), CFOAT (WP5), AREAM (WP6) and NUIG-SEMRU (WP7). Each WP has the participation of a numberof partners and the WP leader will ensure their efficient and effective involvement. NUIG will supervise the activities in line with the subsidy contract and agreement. The overall budget will be implemented by LP who has extensive expertise in coordinating/partnering with EU projects. Internal audits will be held and an external auditor will evaluate FLC annually, this has been included in the appropriate budget lines.

WP 2

Project Communication

The SEAFUEL Dissemination and Communication Plan will aim to have a visible project in the AA and strong dissemination of results among targets and stakeholders, it will be developed by AIET. The plan, which will contain the obligations established on the Regulation (EU) 1303/2013, will be continuously being updated and will describe the communication channels and tools most suitable to disseminate and to promote the project in its different phases, fitting with defined communication approaches. The role of each partner will be clearly identified, being expected to play active roles in updating and supplying information for each of separate communication methods, although each region will have a communication coordinator. This Plan will explain in detail how, what and when the activities will be developed (Website; Facebook; branding and promotional materials; press releases; seminars and workshops; etc.). Communication actions will mainly target: general public and  students (increase awareness and public acceptance of this technology); local administrations (support local engagement and the integration of this technology in their energy plans); and further key actors and multipliers, EU institutions and networks (promote the project and its results beyond the projects’ own community to the wide European public and ensure the sustainability and the replicability of the project). Specific activities are explained within each action.

WP 3

Capitalization

Describe how the capitalization strategy will be implemented during the project life-time including an explanation of how partners will be involved (who will do what)
This work package is about capitalizing on the project outputs, including after the lifetime of the project, and about sustainability and initiatives during the projects lifetime which will ensure transferability. WP3 will ensure that all potential stakeholders in the Atlantic Area Regions are involved in and wish to avail of the exploitation of innovations resulting
from SEAFUEL. Stakeholders include local transport authorities, transport operators, policy makers, strategy makers, fuel suppliers, regional administrations, local governmental organizations and the public.

WP 4

Demonstration and Implementation of H2
Technology

The main objective is to reduce anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases associated with transport, in line with the philosophy of the partnership and the EU directives.
To this end, a fully functional hydrogen-generating pilot plant capable of supplying fuel to a fleet of vehicles will be assembled. As an added value, improvements will be sought in the process of obtaining hydrogen by analysing these processes and making the necessary technical adjustments to work with the resources available, i.e. at night-time no
solar energy is obtained. ITER will lead the WP with the active participation of NUIG, UoL, HyEn and LEL. The latter will assemble the refueller and perform a pre-test with the support of HyEn while ITER installs the auxiliary infrastructures, as well as the land, to set up the pilot plant. NUIG and UoL will develop materials with enhanced performance for
hydrogen production that will be tested in a lab scale at ITER with LEL’s support. In addition, ITER will partially replace the fleet of diesel fuelled vehicles by hydrogen-powered and these will be monitored to report back their performance to the studies in WP5. The pilot plant will be virtualized by AIET as part of WP3. Main risks are identified as delays on the delivery of equipment that might jeopardize the development of activities. This has been minimized by contacting the relevant parties at project’s inception, with the support of HyEn whom has been involved in other EU projects on hydrogen.

WP 5

H2 Deployment in Special Regions

Teams consisting of a designated partner in each of the special regions (CFOAT and AREAM) will be centrally coordinated to research the existing pattern of transport technologies. A breakdown of vehicle type, fuel mix, and existing financial costs of current transport types will be produced. Public and private transport sector attitudes to hydrogenization of transport will be examined through public consultation in each region.
Full-field studies will provide a template for the expected scale and depth of opportunities and impacts of the future applications of SEAFUEL in other regions. The study will identify opportunities and threats to SEAFUEL adoption providing a pre-project benchmark for its impacts, defining potential opportunities of full roll-out in the special regions.
HyEn, ITER and LEL will support in the feasibility of technology transfer in each of the regions and the complimentary RE generation best suited to each environment, investigating SEAFUEL’s adaptability to a variety of environments guiding planning of RE Gen technologies for the extension of SEAFUEL to other regions.

WP 6

H2 Policy Regulation

Knowledge and experience with the deployment of hydrogen applications is still not wide spread in regions or national governments. Facilitating the collection of current best practice and implementation this Work Package will accelerate educated decisions on support measures. This WP will look at how specific national and regional policies and
incentives have influenced the development and implementation of relevant INTERREG and hydrogen projects (BIG HIT, Don Quichote, WaterstofNet), and the risks and institutional barriers will be identified.
AREAM and EHA will gather information on existing policy regulation and its impact on various hydrogen projects. It will be analysed to distil a comprehensive set of policy measures, which will be presented in a dedicated workshop on the involved islands to engage local decision makers. This will allow to formulate a feasible policy framework for AA islands and a timeline to put it in place and establish an AA Hydrogen Cluster of stakeholders to explore H2 deployment pathways.

WP 7

Sustainability and Impact Analysis

This work package will focus on the economic analysis and societal impact of the production, distribution and use of hydrogen as sustainable fuel, taking into account its environmental aspects through all stages of development. Preferences of consumers towards hydrogen end-use technologies in the transport sector will be fundamentally different to the attitudes of local populations who face the building of hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure in their communities. This requires distinguishing between benefits to users, measured in terms of the net economic value or willingness to pay and benefits to local communities, which can be measured in terms of socioeconomic impacts.
This WP will focus on both, presenting estimates of the socio-economic impact of the implementation of the technology in isolated communities in Ireland, Portugal and Spain to relevant regional authorities and other stakeholders. Survey-based techniques will be used to assess intended behaviour and attitudes towards the proposed technology and the trade-offs individuals are willing to make between implementing the new technology as part of their sustainable transport system and money. Results will provide estimates of the net economic value for the proposed fuel in a local transportation context. The environmental impact will be studied by life cycle analysis to quantify the CO2 equivalent released in all stages of hydrogen production and use chain, and compared to conventional fuels.