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31 Mar 2022, 13:53
Edgar Meza

Dutch-German hydrogen infrastructure development could boost decarbonisation – report

Clean Energy Wire

Transnational cooperation in the development of a common hydrogen market and the construction of hydrogen infrastructure can strengthen the Netherlands and Germany in the decarbonisation of their economic clusters, according to a report by the German Energy Agency (dena), the Forschungszentrum Jülich research institute and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). In the joint English-language Hy3 study, the groups examined what a transnational hydrogen economy could look like in 2050. The study’s final report shows the feasibility of building an integrated hydrogen transport infrastructure based on existing gas infrastructure and storage options in salt caverns between the Netherlands and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). “The development of hydrogen value chains can and must be thought and tackled on a European level,” said dena CEO Andreas Kuhlmann. “The joint use of production and import capacities as well as the infrastructure within the framework of cross-border cooperation creates synergies and strengthens climate protection and security of supply for strong industrial regions in the heart of Europe." The petrochemical industries in NRW and the Netherlands currently have a combined hydrogen requirement of 58 terawatt hours (TWh) per year. By 2050, the total demand in the two sectors could increase sevenfold, reaching up to 401 TWh. The report calls for the promotion of German-Dutch initiatives to create a common market with a future-proof vision. To achieve that, it recommends the removal of administrative obstacles and the promotion of cross-border cooperation in the transformation of industry. The report also calls for the creation of joint research, development and innovation initiatives as well as the development of demonstration projects, both at the bi-national as well as the European level, such as part of the EU’s Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) programme.

Green hydrogen is seen as a vital solution for German industrial sectors with particularly high CO2 emissions. Ministers at this week's Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must accelerate Germany’s move away from Russian energy imports and the rapid ramp-up of hydrogen is essential to that end.

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