Cooperation between the Netherlands and Germany to develop a common hydrogen market boosts opportunities for realising a decarbonised regional economy, the Hy3 study has found.
The Hy3 feasibility study prepared in the context of the Dutch-German Green Hydrogen Cooperation is focussed on the potential for offshore wind green hydrogen production in the Dutch and German regions of the North Sea and delivery to demand centres in the Netherlands and the adjacent western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2025 onwards.
The study, undertaken by the research organisations TNO in the Netherlands and dena and Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany, finds that a common market for the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia would more than double the potential demand for hydrogen in the area.
Cooperation would enable the use of synergies such as better scaling and utilisation of the infrastructure and increase the security of supply.
The demand for hydrogen in the area is expected to be driven primarily by the substitution of the current hydrogen consumption in the chemical and petrochemical industries, as well as commercial transport applications such as buses, trucks, trains and cars. In the longer term, synfuel production and the decarbonisation of industry should become the top drivers.
Estimates are that demand in 2050 could approach 162TWh in North Rhine-Westphalia and 239TWh in the Netherlands – seven times greater than currently.
The study finds that coastal and offshore hydrogen production could contribute to the utilisation of the North Sea wind energy potential and to domestic hydrogen supply.
However, to meet the growing hydrogen demand, other sources beyond green hydrogen produced from offshore wind in the North Sea would be needed, with the likely deficit growing exponentially after 2025.
Going ahea,d the study recommends that the two countries should further investigate potentials and instruments for cooperation with the aim of developing the hydrogen economy in the cross-border region in a coordinated manner.
To support the development of grids, networks and storage facilities, the respective electricity and gas grid operators should be invited to identify potentials and projects for cooperation for the region, while a transnational market and hydrogen trading should be supported by exchanging market information and developing measures regarding the import and integration of hydrogen from international markets.
In the long run, the development of a Dutch-German hydrogen market hub matching system should be developed and supported, connecting players from the demand and supply side.
R&D cooperation opportunities in the field of hydrogen also should be promoted and should be supported with a regulatory framework that promotes cooperation.
Focusses for further studies should include the cost aspects, operating options for hydrogen production from offshore wind and the role of hydrogen in decarbonising the industrial value chain.
It also is recommended to examine more deeply the role of offshore hydrogen production in a balanced mix of offshore renewable energy supply options in relation to national and European renewable targets.