About hydrogen

What is hydrogen?

Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be used as a fuel for transport or industry, or as a raw material for industrial applications. Hydrogen is produced by a process called electrolysis. Electrolysis is a chemical reaction in which, under the influence of (green) electricity, water (H2O) is split into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). This process does not release any harmful gases or other substances, and for this reason hydrogen is considered a sustainable alternative to oil or gas, provided the electricity used is generated in a green way.

Why hydrogen?

Hydrogen is considered an essential link in the energy transition, especially as a sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy carrier in the future. Hydrogen is a versatile gas, which can play a major role in making the following market segments more sustainable, provided the hydrogen is produced green.

  1. Hydrogen as a feedstock – The chemical industry needs hydrogen as a feedstock (think fertiliser production, aviation bio-kerosene, etc.). Currently, these products are made from oil or natural gas, but these products can also be produced with hydrogen.
  2. Hydrogen as a heat source – Hydrogen is a sustainable alternative to gas and oil in the chemical sector. Direct electrification is often not possible to reach the required high temperatures at which these chemical processes take place, but hydrogen can reach these temperatures. In addition, hydrogen can also be used for heat supply in the built environment, such as district heating.
  3. Hydrogen for transport – While batteries are a more efficient way for sustainable (passenger) transport, there is a big role for heavy-duty transportation and commercial (inland) shipping, either directly as a fuel, or as a feedstock for bio-fuels.
  4. Hydrogen as an energy carrier – In a future scenario where the lion’s share of our electricity demand comes from solar and wind energy, there will be over-or under-production at many times. A large amount of electricity will have to be stored for long periods of time. Hydrogen offers the possibility of storing large amounts of electricity over longer periods, for instance in existing salt caverns.

The climate agreement includes an ambition of 500 MW electrolysis by 2025, and 3,000 to 4,000 MW by 2030, and in addition also points out the essential role that hydrogen can play in the Dutch energy system. For this reason, a systematic approach has been agreed for hydrogen that aims, among other things, at scaling up hydrogen production through electrolysis. Project Broadway contributes to achieving these objectives as one of the first licensed hydrogen projects in the Netherlands.

Read more about hydrogen

Read more about the climate agreement (in Dutch)

Hydrogen at Delfzijl chemical park

The province of Groningen and the port authority of Delfzijl are fully committed to hydrogen. The port region of Delfzijl contains large-scale industry in need of green hydrogen, while at the same time boasting great potential for renewable energy in the area, with several wind and solar farms on land, and in the future, off-shore wind farms in the North Sea.

The north of the Netherlands is uniquely positioned to become Europe’s hydrogen frontrunner, and in recent years has been fully engaged in developing a hydrogen ecosystem, from production to industrial off-take. The area’s unique characteristics contribute to this, with great potential for large-scale renewable energy generation, large-industrial clusters, and existing (natural)-gas infrastructure and knowledge.

Read more about Hydrogen in the Northern Netherlands