The results of 1,5 years of cross border collaboration on hydrogen development in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine (EMR) were presented at the closing conference of the EMR H2 Booster project. The event marks a new phase in the roll-out of a local hydrogen economy. Through the targeted activities undertaken over the past 1,5 years, the EMR H2 Booster project prepared the region for clean hydrogen demonstrations in the years to come.
At the start of the project, several mapping exercises were performed. These resulted in a clear overview of relevant national and regional policy documents, local industrial players and hydrogen project initiatives in the region. A questionnaire was used to identify 99 local players that are either active or interested in hydrogen.
A large part of them were SMEs, the main target audience of the project and were involved in the further events and activities of the project. The mapping outputs are currently being further analysed to identify regional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the field of green hydrogen for the region as a whole.
The gathered information has been integrated on the public project website and in the Digital Innovation Platform (DIP) – an online news and networking platform that is available for anyone in the EMR region.
Based on the mapping exercises, over 50 hydrogen project ideas were listed, out of which six hydrogen initiatives (or ‘cases’) were identified and supported over the past months to kickstart their implementation after the end of the EMR H2 Booster project.
This project development support consisted of analyses, calculations and advice elaborated in ‘concept papers’. In this context also dedicated matchmaking sessions were organised to strengthen the case consortia. The developed cases include initiatives on hydrogen refuelling stations, hydrogen for high temperature industrial heating, hydrogen powered buses, hydrogen powered inland shipping, among others.
Davine Janssen, project manager, said:
The ambition of the project has always been to move towards tangible hydrogen demonstrations in the region as soon as possible.
“Through the development of these cases an important step in that direction is made.”
The following cases will be pursued:
- Hydrogen use in industrial high temperature heat processes
- H2 refuelling station chain Flanders-Netherlands
- Valorization of scientific knowledge by Academia and Industry
- Hydrogen Buses, Aachen, Liège, Maastricht
- Hydrogen production: 6x 1 MW electrolysers in Dutch Limburg
- Hydrogen for Inland Shipping: Barge-and Hydrogen hub Maasbracht
Throughout the course of the project inspiration and demonstration events and thematic workshops were organised. The events aimed to inspire and empower a range of local SMEs and other local stakeholders by providing them with a combination of general information, clear examples, tangible technology demonstrations and specific in-depth information sessions.
Finally, a future roadmap was developed for hydrogen in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine. Among others, it highlights the need for imports of hydrogen, opportunities for the logistical and transport sectors (particularly those located on the main European transport corridors and waterways) and emphasises the importance of continued cross-border collaboration.
Although the project will soon come to an end (30 June 2023), the latter is ensured through the creation of a governance structure and plan.
The EMR H2 Booster project has received funding from the Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine program. This program receives support from the European Union’s ERDF. In addition, several of the partners receive co-financing from local governments, including the Dutch and Flemish province of Limburg, the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant, the Dutch ministry of Economic and Climate Policy, VLAIO, the Walloon Government, and the German state government of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The project’s duration is 18 months.
The partners in the project are Stadt Aachen, LIOF, POM Limburg, Cluster TWEED, SPI, IHK Aachen, Universiteit Hasselt, Waterstof Coalitie Limburg, and WaterstofNet, who coordinates the project. Regio Parkstad supports the project as an associated partner.
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