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24 Feb 2020, 13:56
Freja Eriksen

Netherlands highlights hydrogen cooperation with Germany

Handelsblatt

The Netherlands has identified Germany as its main ally in building Europe's future hydrogen structure, writes the business daily Handelsblatt. "Our aim is to intensify cooperation on hydrogen across national borders. We are thinking globally. However, cooperation with Germany has priority," Noé van Hulst, the country's hydrogen envoy, told Handelsblatt. Germany is "the linchpin of a future European hydrogen infrastructure" due to its central location and strong industry, van Hulst said. Following tremors in 2018 that were blamed on drilling operations at the Groningen natural gas field, the Netherlands decided to end production by mid-2022 at the site - Europe's largest onshore natural gas field. Now, the country is working to turn its infrastructure for natural gas into a network for transporting so-called green and blue hydrogen. Van Hulst welcomed Germany's plans to build a 5,900-kilometre hydrogen network, saying the two countries’ plans could easily be linked.

The German government is currently discussing a highly anticipated hydrogen strategy, due to be published soon and aiming to make the country a "global pioneer" in the technology. A leaked economy ministry draft has called for industrial-scale electrolysers and said 20 percent of the hydrogen used in Germany should be made with renewables by 2030. Together with the Netherlands, the German federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have commissioned a feasibility study that will look into establishing a "transnational value chain for green hydrogen from the North Sea to industrial clusters in the border area of the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia," according to a press release by the economy ministry (BMWi). 

 

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