Germany and the Netherlands are strengthening cooperation in the field of hydrogen – King Willem-Alexander visits North Rhine-Westphalia working site
Germany and the Netherlands are strengthening cooperation in the field of hydrogen – King Willem-Alexander visits North Rhine-Westphalia working site.
State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief (Mining) signed three declarations of intent in the field of hydrogen today in Duisburg. Two with the federal German government and one with the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The signings took place as part of King Willem-Alexander’s working visit to North Rhine-Westphalia on November 14. At the same time as the King’s working visit, around forty Dutch companies took part in an economic mission on hydrogen, led by the State Secretary.
Renewable hydrogen will play a major role in making industry and the transport sector more sustainable in the coming years. This requires large volumes of renewable hydrogen. Within Europe, the Netherlands and Germany need the most hydrogen. To meet this demand, Germany and the Netherlands will both produce and import hydrogen, with the Netherlands having important port facilities to enable imports for both countries. This will eventually create a Northwest European hydrogen market in which the Netherlands can develop into one of the most important hydrogen hubs in the region.
Hans Vijlbrief, State Secretary:
Germany is a crucial partner for the Netherlands for the development of the hydrogen market.
“With the declarations of intent between the Netherlands and Germany, both at a national level and with the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the necessary infrastructure has come an important step closer. And we are also working together in the field of hydrogen imports with a joint tender.”
Dr. Philipp Nimmermann of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate is also pleased to strengthen the partnership with the Netherlands:
By jointly accelerating the rollout of the hydrogen network, we are actively contributing to an ambitious growth of the hydrogen market and promoting the European energy transformation.
Linking backbones and Delta Rhine Corridor
The Netherlands is working to transport renewable hydrogen to Dutch industry as quickly as possible with its national backbone and to develop our country into an important regional hub. Construction of the first hydrogen pipeline by Gasunie started at the end of October. By connecting the national hydrogen networks (backbones), the development of the regional hydrogen market can receive an important boost, which can also meet the needs of part of Germany’s energy. Agreements have been made on this for close cooperation between the Dutch and German federal governments.
The Delta Rhine Corridor is a private project. In the Netherlands, this project consists of a CO 2 pipeline, 6 gigawatts of direct current cables and a hydrogen pipeline that is also part of the national hydrogen transport network. In Germany the focus is on hydrogen and CO 2 .
Due to the importance of this corridor for the hydrogen transition of the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia, both governments have agreed to regularly exchange information about planning, border crossings, spatial integration and licensing and policy that creates favorable conditions for the energy transition. This is of great importance for network operators who are responsible for investments and spatial procedures in the Netherlands and Germany. The support of governments and cooperation with grid operators helps to remove uncertainties as much as possible, allowing final realization to take place more quickly.
Another important priority is cooperation on the import of renewable hydrogen. Imported hydrogen is not yet available at commercially attractive prices. That is why the German government has introduced the H2Global subsidy mechanism to attract imports in 2021. H2Global is a public-private partnership foundation in which, in addition to the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, a large number of companies from the energy sector also participate. Tenders are organized via H2Global to purchase renewable hydrogen on the global market at the lowest possible price on the basis of ten-year contracts and to resell it to end customers in the form of one-year purchase contracts. H2Global then compensates for any price difference between the purchasing and selling prices. A first auction of purchasing contracts has been launched in Germany in 2022 and a second auction round will open in 2024.
The Netherlands believes H2Global is a good addition to the Dutch import policy of renewable hydrogen. That is why it has decided to develop a tender together with Germany. The Netherlands and Germany are each investing €300 million for a joint international tender for the import of renewable hydrogen from 2027. It is the first time that two countries are working together in this way and it is therefore a very important first step towards European and international cooperation in the field of renewable hydrogen.
The declarations of intent signed today are a concrete follow-up to the Dutch-German government consultation of March 27, 2023. They also build on the results of a bilateral forum of experts on hydrogen infrastructure at the Dutch embassy in Berlin on February 14, 2023.