European Hydrogen valleys as roadmap to deep decarbonisation: the Northern Netherlands Experience
“I want NextGenerationEU to create new European Hydrogen Valleys to modernise our industries, power our vehicles and bring new life to rural areas” President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen SAID in the annual State of the Union Speech on September the 16th. The European Union desires to become the first carbon neutral continent by 2050, and hydrogen could play a mayor role in achieving this goal, according to the European Commission.
Reaching this goal is only possible in close cooperation with regions. As such the Northern Netherlands is the first European Hydrogen Valley, a home of the FCH-JU supported HEAVENN project. As the Northern Netherlands region we are happy to understand that the European Commission foresees the development of new Hydrogen Valleys, as a region we desire to contribute to the unlocking of the important role of this sustainable energy carrier, green hydrogen. We stand ready to provide our expertise and experiences with regions that want to undergo the same transition.
As recognized Hydrogen Valley we can serve as example for and collaborate with other regions that desire to develop a hydrogen economy.
Green Hydrogen Value Chain
In our Northern Netherlands Hydrogen Valley we develop our integrated Green Hydrogen Value Chain, where sectoral integration is important for full scale (industrial) deployment. Its proven added value lays in its regional experience, which is unique to a hydrogen valley. This regional experience allows for linking individual projects to each other, in order to demonstrate the systemic integration and thereby also allow the large scale green Hydrogen use, application, and deployment.
Regional Hydrogen Valleys are geographically defined areas in regions, and they are the ones that are demonstrating the role of Hydrogen in the future energy system. We agree that there is no ‘one size fits it all Hydrogen Valley, hence it all depends on a number of individual regional structures based on the local framework conditions and existing FCH activities. Our Hydrogen Valley builds on locally available expertise and industrial capacity. This makes us and other Hydrogen Valleys front-runners on the development of a hydrogen economy at regional level.
In essence, the strength of a Hydrogen Valley is that it can contribute to further exploitation of renewable resources and thereby contribute to decarbonize the local and regional economies across Europe, by (re)utilizing the existing assets and infrastructure. To this end, Valleys can help transform the fossil-based regional economies from economic uncertainty towards continuous growth of a prosperous H2-based economy.
Northern Netherlands and Europe
The Northern Netherlands as European Hydrogen Valley is participating as the leading region in the European Hydrogen Valleys Partnership, an interregional partnership with almost 50 European regions and cities ranging from France, Bulgaria, till Norway. Together with the leading regions of Normandy, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, and Aragon, we are committed to the further development of hydrogen technologies, such as production, storage, usage and infrastructure.
Furthermore this partnership facilitates the exchange of knowledge between Hydrogen regions and is an active stakeholder in EU policy making and Hydrogen. In our view, this will stimulate supply and demand and contribute to the creation of a modern, clean economy for European energy demand. Together we can make the uptake and deployment of green Hydrogen a reality, reduce costs, and increase competitiveness.
Did you miss Von der Leyen's words on hydrogen? Watch it here!