Report: Hydrogen for the energy transition

Report: Hydrogen for the energy transition

The Netherlands has unveiled a Multi-year Programmatic Approach for Hydrogen (MPAH) which aims to accelerate implementation of hydrogen technologies and ensure they are “substantially embedded” by 2030.

Hydrogen is gaining traction around the world, and the Netherlands is no exception, with new hydrogen initiatives announced almost every week.

Alongside the varied energy and non-energy applications for hydrogen in the transport sector, industry and the built environment, attention is also focused on the systemic role that hydrogen can play in the energy system.

This means a role as flexible storage and transport medium for an intermittent supply of electricity generated from renewable energy sources (with emphasis on wind and solar), and the interface function that hydrogen can take on between the electricity sector and the gas sector.

The MPAH, released by Top Sector Energie, sets out four core objectives:

  • Creation of a shared, cross-sector approach to facilitate successful development, demonstration, implementation and scale-up of innovations in hydrogen across multiple sectors that contribute towards the achievement of the goals of the National Climate Agreement.
  • Acceleration of implementation so that hydrogen technologies are substantially embedded by 2030.
  • Leveraging of synergies by taking a cohesive approach to multiple themes, such as safety, the human capital agenda and societal acceptance.
  • Profiling of the Netherlands internationally as an interesting incubator for hydrogen technologies, showcasing our knowledge and industrial activities in the field.

Programmatic approach

The multi-year programmatic approach for hydrogen is elaborated in five separate but interrelated components:

  1. From vision to policy-making – The focus here is on vision-building and programme development, with the goal of surveying the options for achievement of the energy transition, the roles that hydrogen can play in this transition, and the policy support and market regulation that success will require.
  2. Practice: demonstration projects (pilots, demos and implementation) – This component is about the practical projects that must be ready for implementation in the 2025-2030 period, and so must be experimented with and demonstrated in the short term. These projects serve multiple purposes, such as accelerating the introduction of hydrogen-based solutions, organising integral hydrogen chains, testing and developing business cases, and working towards embedding in society through practical examples suitable for future upscaling. Short-term R&D projects will also be a part of this.
  3. Creating the conditions – Various overarching themes must be addressed cohesively, and tackled with a cohesive approach, to get the most out of existing synergies, resolve any problems as efficiently as possible, and ensure that the activities proceed expeditiously. The focus is on the areas that are urgent in the short to medium-term, like legislation and regulations, safety and risk management, standardisation, and the need for infrastructure.
  4. Research for the longer term – This is research and development activities (lower TRLs) for the longer-term solutions that may be important going into 2030 and beyond, and/or the robust elements for achieving the energy transition approaching 2050. A good example is the co-electrolysis of water and carbon dioxide into a syngas that can serve as a basis for the production of climate-neutral chemical products and materials (plastics) and synthetic fuels.
  5. Supporting and accompanying activities ­– This refers to activities oriented towards removing impediments and addressing topics relevant to developing and upscaling hydrogen applications, such as information campaigns, the human capital agenda, development of supporting tech applications, embedding in the regions, and international partnerships. For these elements, priority activities have been identified that will be necessary to successfully achieve the ambitions of the Climate Agreement in the coming years and to make hydrogen a mature technology. These are described elsewhere in this document.

The full report can be found here.

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