The “Hydrogen Valley of the Year Award” goes to…

The HEAVENN project received Europe’s “Hydrogen Valley of the Year Award” during the EU Hydrogen Week in Brussels.

A fully operational green-hydrogen chain is being developed in the northern Netherlands region as part of the long-running EU program HEAVENN. The program’s creator and coordinator is New Energy Coalition. The Clean Hydrogen Partnership welcomed receiving the honor.

Working together on the HEAVENN program are 31 public and commercial organizations from 6 EU nations. The program aims to establish a fully functional hydrogen economy, primarily in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe, in the northern Netherlands. The energy-intensive industries present together with the energy knowledge and infrastructure in this area (from 60 years of natural gas mining from the Groningen gas field) provide the ideal ecology. From the production (electrolyzers), storage (salt caverns in Veendam), transportation and distribution (gas pipeline network), off-take in the energy-intensive industry (Delfzijl and Emmen manufacturing clusters), and housing projects in Hoogeveen. The system is completed by the creation of transportation infrastructure, including hydrogen refueling stations.

Furthermore, given that the natural gas economy in the area will be phased out, there is logically a sense of urgency among decision-makers, business owners, institutions, and locals to create a new energy economy. This brings all parties involved together and aids in project completion.

Next move

The HEAVENN concept was developed by Patrick Cnubben, director of the hydrogen strategy at New Energy Coalition. We are constructing a fully functional hydrogen chain in the northern Netherlands as the first Hydrogen Valley in the EU, and as such, it serves as a proving ground for international advancements. The award is a much-appreciated recognition of our efforts. As a follow-up, we are currently moving forward with creating transnational Hydrogen Valleys. In this manner, the RePowerEU program is also receiving substance from the HEAVENN-program.

While we are already completely committed to the next phase, connecting international Hydrogen Valleys, Marieke Abbink, managing director of New Energy Coalition, said: “A great acknowledgment for this project.”

The topic of clean hydrogen as a component of the future global energy system is covered during the annual Hydrogen Week in Brussels, which examines the state of research, politics, policy, and economics in these areas. The European Commission, Hydrogen Europe, and Hydrogen Europe Research are members of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership (previously FCH 2 JU), which organized the event.

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