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Ambitions of the Netherlands for hydrogen and green chemistry are accelerating

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On June 29, 2022, during the fourth administrative roundtable ‘Hydrogen and Green Chemistry’, the top players from the business community and the knowledge world reached further agreements on the scaling up of technology and the intensification of research and innovation.

This took place under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate. It is extremely energizing to see that we are now united with so many parties, industry and the knowledge community, to make a real start on rapidly achieving our goal of 3 to 4 GW in 2030,” says Sandor Gaastra, Director-General of Climate and Energy.

The Netherlands is becoming a hydrogen hub by integrating three functionalities: hydrogen production, a hydrogen traffic circle and hydrogen consumption and green chemistry. With that dot on the horizon, the GroenvermogenNL program board, which took office this spring, took the roundtable through its vision of an ecosystem for hydrogen and green chemistry in the Netherlands. Marjan Oudeman, chair of the board: “With € 838 million from the National Growth Fund, GroenvermogenNL really does have some leverage. We want to use the resources to accelerate, to connect strengths in the Netherlands and to help create an ecosystem.

Director General of Business and Innovation Focco Vijselaar was immediately pleased to add the opening of the first subsidy scheme to support demonstration projects for the upscaling of hydrogen and green chemistry. The almost €30 million comes from GroenvermogenNL.

Three key projects

The roundtable presented a joint proposal to accelerate three key projects. A great deal is currently happening in the field of hydrogen and green chemistry. From that overview, the roundtable selected three projects whose urgency is widely shared around the table. These are a center of expertise in the field of hydrogen safety, a project aimed at import infrastructure, and a portfolio approach for national pilot and demo projects. With these key projects, the round table is accelerating work on three essential preconditions for a future hydrogen ecosystem’, says Marco Waas, one of the initiators of the round table.

Funding in the market

In order to scale up new technology to commercial plants, in addition to public financing of the unprofitable top end, capital from the market is also needed to make investment decisions. The roundtable sat down with Barbara Baarsma, CEO of Rabo Carbon Bank and Professor of Market and Competition Economics at the University of Amsterdam, to discuss the Dutch investment climate. What can the Netherlands do to get banks, insurers and pension funds to invest more in sustainability in the Netherlands? The roundtable wants to follow up on this dialogue with the financial sector.

Making sustainability quicker with new subsidy for hydrogen and green chemistry
In the Climate Agreement, it was agreed that 70% of the total electricity production in 2030 would consist of renewable (sustainably generated) electricity. This is a major challenge. The production of green hydrogen is of great significance in this regard. But this is still very expensive. Entrepreneurs can therefore apply for subsidies from 22 June 2022 for pilot and demonstration projects involving hydrogen technology or green chemistry (chemistry with sustainability as a starting point).

Nedim Husomanovic

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