Common infrastructure could double German and Dutch hydrogen demand

Countries must work together to remove regulatory hurdles and increase offshore wind capacity if high demand scenario is to materialise, report says

According to a report commissioned by the German and Dutch governments, cooperation between the Netherlands and Germany on a common hydrogen backbone will significantly increase demand in the region.

The study found that demand in the Netherlands and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia could increase from current levels of 17 TWh/year and 41 TWh/year respectively to 162 TWh and 239 TWh respectively by 2050 if a common market is established, double projected demand levels. of a scenario where this is not the case.

The demand scenario is based on the recent hydrogen roadmap of North Rhine-Westphalia and has been adapted to Dutch industrial areas.

It involves the production of green hydrogen fueled by renewable electricity from offshore wind sources in the North Sea.

401 TWh/year – Potential combined hydrogen demand in 2050

The initial phase of the high demand scenario – through 2030 – sees hydrogen used primarily by commercial transport applications such as trains, buses and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as the substitution of existing demand in the chemical and petrochemical industry. Between 2030 and 2040, passenger cars and the steel and synthetic fuel sectors become increasingly important.

From 2035, the greatest long-term impact on demand comes from the production of synthetic kerosene, synthetic diesel and synthetic naphtha, as the refinery sector begins to decarbonise. After 2040, the scenario sees hydrogen used to decarbonize the cement industry.

Policy measures

For such a scenario to materialize, various measures must be put in place. These include the classification of hydrogen as a chemical in the Netherlands, the development of a regulatory framework for hydrogen pipeline infrastructure and coordinated cross-border planning in accordance with trans-European networks (TEN-E) and Ten- Annual Network Development Plan (TYNDP).

TEN-E is part of the EU’s energy and climate package, which provides financial support for cross-border and international energy projects with the aim of integrating member states’ energy systems. The TYNDP is the pan-European plan for the development of the EU’s electricity infrastructure.

“The role of large-scale onshore and offshore hydrogen production from offshore wind still needs to be considered and developed” HY3 study

In addition, both countries must establish and enforce rules for the legal definition and certification of green hydrogen.

There are no regulatory barriers to underground hydrogen storage in Dutch and German national laws, but more explicit requirements are needed for this to happen, according to the report. Hydrogen storage has not yet been undertaken on a commercial scale in either country.

Renewable growth

The scenario would also require a rapid increase in offshore wind capacity, coupled with onshore and offshore deployment of power-to-gas technology.

“The regulatory framework for the offshore wind market in both countries is established, but the role of large-scale onshore and offshore hydrogen production from offshore wind remains to be considered and developed,” the statement said. study, which was conducted by three researchers. institutes – Forschungzentrum Julich and Dena in Germany and TNO in the Netherlands – working collectively as HY3.

James R. Rhodes