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Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia Intensify Cooperation and Start Cross-Border Hydrogen Projects

By January 30, 2020 3   min read  (557 words)

January 30, 2020 |

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North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands have agreed on in-depth cooperation in the field of hydrogen management.

North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands have agreed on in-depth cooperation in the field of hydrogen management. Minister of Economics and Energy Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart and his Dutch counterpart Eric Wiebes signed letters of intent at the Combined Energy conference in Arnhem. The aim is to utilize the potential of green hydrogen and to advance the establishment of a common infrastructure across borders. Companies and scientific institutions will take part in the conference to link their energy policy activities. The focus is also on the expansion of renewable energies and CO2 reduction in industry.

Minister Pinkwart: “Hydrogen will make a major contribution to greater competitiveness and climate protection in the industry. It is the key to a largely greenhouse gas-neutral economy and will develop into a globally traded energy source. With the newly launched hydrogen projects, we are shaping the restructuring of the industry together and creating the ideal conditions to exploit cross-border potential. As an energy and industrial country, North Rhine-Westphalia has a special responsibility for a successful energy transition. The Netherlands is an important and indispensable partner for us. ”

Minister Wiebes: “The Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia are in a unique position to turn the expansion of green hydrogen into economic opportunities. We already have a cross-border pipeline infrastructure, logistical routes and research institutes. With the expected growth of (offshore) wind energy and the increasing demand from industrial companies that need green hydrogen for decarbonization, we have all the prerequisites in our region to become pioneers in realizing a greenhouse gas-neutral economy. ”

The Hy3 project examines the potential for green hydrogen business models between the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia. The focus is on the generation of green hydrogen by offshore wind turbines, which can be transported to major industrial customers in North Rhine-Westphalia through released gas lines. Green hydrogen, which saves emissions in steel production, for example, can make a major contribution to more climate protection in the industry. In addition to the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Economic Affairs, project partners are also the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and the Federal Ministry of Economics. The feasibility study Hy3 will be completed by the end of 2020.

Minister Pinkwart and the regional minister of the province of South Holland, Floor Vermeulen, are signing a letter of intent on the RH2INE (Rhine Hydrogen Integration Network of Excellence) project. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia, together with the province of South Holland and the ports of Rotterdam, Duisburg, Neuss / Düsseldorf, and Cologne, wants to work with RH2INE on establishing an infrastructure for hydrogen supply in the Rhine ports. The aim is to guarantee this by 2030 for freight traffic, especially inland navigation along the Rhine-Alps corridor (Rotterdam-Genoa). In a first project, a feasibility study on the use of hydrogen in inland navigation and port infrastructure is being carried out. Other projects are designed to identify synergies with other sectors, particularly industry.

The Combined Energy conference with over 400 participants from the energy industry is organized by EnergieAgentur.NRW in cooperation with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO.nl. The Netherlands has been North Rhine-Westphalia’s most important trading partner for years. In the past decades, both countries with a combined population of more than 35 million have developed into a cross-border European region.

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