Hydrogen: the missing link in the transition to clean energy

Update

April 28, 2021

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Hydrogen: the missing link in the transition to clean energy

Update

April 28, 2021

Social

Climate change is possibly the biggest challenge facing the world today, and no single country can hope to fight it alone. In order to succeed, we must pool together our knowledge and resources and  speed up the development and implementation of clean technologies. The Dutch hydrogen community has recently issued the first International Hydrogen Guide highlighting unique Dutch solutions to successful clean energy transition with green hydrogen.

As one of the most flexible and versatile carbon-neutral fuels, sustainable hydrogen is often called the missing link in the global energy transition. Its potential is huge, but unlocking it requires concerted efforts. From substantially scaling up production capacity to creating (global) demand, as well as developing infrastructure and (global) logistics. Like the fossil fuels it looks set to replace over the next few decades, hydrogen will have to become a global commodity in the energy transition. The sector needs to thrive in an international marketplace that connects individual countries and enables each to make the most of its natural resources.

Europe’s first hydrogen valley

The Netherlands is already on the forefront of European initiatives to kick-start a hydrogen revolution and replace fossil fuels. As the second largest hydrogen producer in Europe, we have a lot to offer.
 

Aside from the innovative technology itself, an open, inventive and forward-thinking community is equally important. The Netherlands is home to Europe’s first ‘hydrogen valley’. Foreign investors and technology companies views the Netherlands as an excellent base for open innovation and business development.

A wide range of applications

By continuously building productive partnerships, we can ensure that our hydrogen ambitions and initiatives are strongly embedded in European policies and innovation programmes. Dutch researchers and companies are working on a wide range of potential hydrogen applications, focusing on those with the highest impact on carbon emissions;
 

  • Flexible power infrastructure
  • Industrial applications
  • Mobility
  • Residential heating
     

From electrolysis to transport and storage of hydrogen, the Netherlands has shaped a rich ecosystem of research institutes and companies with invaluable experience and knowledge to help along every step of the value chain. We’ve also developed a range of applications across sectors including industry, road and maritime transport and residential heating.

Scaling up production and transporting clean energy

Scaling up production without a sizeable demand is a challenge. However, the Netherlands has already thought about this and is creating a larger offer to encourage an increased demand. Generally speaking, hydrogen is produced in small amounts, usually of just a few megawatts. The Dutch network of energy innovators is scaling up this production by up to 1,000 times larger. The installation of the Netherlands’ first Gigawatt Electrolyser should be fully operational by 2030.
 

And it isn’t just how much we need to produce but also a question of where this can be done. A connected system of researchers and companies are encouraging efforts to install electrolysers closer to wind and solar installations. This enable us to minimise costs of transmission infrastructure and inevitable energy losses. For example, in the North Sea, with the world’s first offshore electrolysis platform converting wind energy into hydrogen.
 

With our strategic location as gateway to North-Western Europe and already existing vast infrastructure, the Netherlands offers unique solutions to large-scale transport of hydrogen. From large-scale production and conversion to various applications and storage, the Netherlands’ clean energy sector is moving towards the idea of a global hydrogen economy, both locally and from abroad.