The City of Haringvliet, located on the South Holland island of Goeree-Overflakkee, is set to become a pioneer in the use of hydrogen for heating.
In a resounding majority vote, the village of approximately 1,500 residents has approved the collective and subsidized switch to hydrogen, aiming to phase out gas within the next two to seven years.
The initiative, known as Stad Gasvrij (City Gas-Free), was launched by a group of proactive residents who recognized the need for sustainable alternatives. The municipality of Goeree-Overflakkee recently conducted a survey to gauge public sentiment, and the preliminary results revealed an impressive 84.8% turnout. Of those with a natural gas connection, 77.6% voted in favor of the transition, while 6.4% voted against, and 15.2% did not participate. With such strong support, the municipality will proceed with the plan’s further development.
Alderwoman Jaap Willem Eijkenduijn expressed the significance of this moment in the energy transition, stating, “The positive outcome ensures that Stadtenaren (residents of Stad) are a great example for the rest of the Netherlands and Europe.” Stella Braber, one of the initiators of Stad Aardgasvrij (City Gas-Free), expressed her delight with the outcome, emphasizing the substantial support from fellow villagers for the plan to create a natural gas-free City aan ‘t Haringvliet in the near future.
The next step is to develop a conversion plan for the switch from natural gas to hydrogen, scheduled to be drawn up in the winter of 2024. By the summer of 2025, and no later than 2030, the existing natural gas connections will be transformed into hydrogen connections. The municipality aims for Stad aan ‘t Haringvliet to be the first village in the Netherlands to be heated with green hydrogen. This pioneering approach makes the project unique not only in the Netherlands but also throughout Europe. The lessons and experiences gained from this endeavor will be invaluable, potentially inspiring other villages and districts to embrace green hydrogen and transition away from natural gas in the future.
The decision of the City of Haringvliet sets a remarkable precedent, showcasing the community’s determination to prioritize sustainable solutions and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. With its commitment to adopting hydrogen for heating, the city takes a significant step towards a greener and more environmentally friendly future.