The government in The Netherlands is carrying out a study into the potential advantages of linking hydrogen production to offshore wind energy via integrated tenders.
The government believes that offshore windfarms in the North Sea could produce green hydrogen at scale and play a leading role in the creation of a green hydrogen market. This could contribute to the supply of clean energy and could help to address congestion in electricity networks. Such an approach is important with respect to how hydrogen production could be used to achieve CO2 reductions.
According to a recently published Strategy on Green Hydrogen from the Dutch government, converting electricity from offshore windfarms into hydrogen has a number of potential advantages in addition to using green hydrogen to reduce CO2 emissions.
Doing so could reduce the cost of ‘landing’ renewable energy and bringing it ashore in addition to alleviating congestion in the electricity grid. “Transporting hydrogen is considerably cheaper than transporting electricity,” said the document.
The Netherlands Research Organisation for applied scientific research (TNO) is conducting a pilot project on an offshore platform near Den Helder, the results of which will feed into the study. The study will focus on the possibility of tendering for electrolysis capacity at landing sites for offshore wind energy.
Consideration will also be given to the possibility of reserving space offshore for corridors that could accommodate HVDC cables or hydrogen pipelines that would bring energy from future offshore windfarms to land. In an international context, the Netherlands will also explore cooperation on the with neighbouring countries on the production of offshore hydrogen.
The Strategy on Green Hydrogen said, “We are at the beginning of a joint public-private partnership endeavour. It is by means of this national strategy that the government intends to underline the importance of the development of clean hydrogen and the unique starting position of the Netherlands.
“The rapid development of hydrogen is also in line with the vision presented by the government in the recent Long-term Growth Strategy for the Netherlands (Groeistrategie voor Nederland op de lange termijn). This will be a top priority for industry in particular.
“The Dutch energy system is set to change and the use of natural gas is set to decrease as a result of the energy transition. At present, electricity provides 20% of final energy consumption in the Netherlands.”
The document said the level of electrification will see electricity’s share in final energy consumption to increase, but gases will ‘remain crucial’ in a robust and flexible energy system that is fully sustainable, affordable and reliable. These gases must be produced using zero-carbon methods.
“Hydrogen has the potential to become a globally traded commodity. Given the significant expected demand for sustainable hydrogen in industry in northwest Europe, it would be highly advantageous for the Netherlands to become the linchpin in that supply chain and to use existing infrastructure for that purpose.”