Dutch government is allocating a total of 125 million euros over the next four years to promote hydrogen as a fuel. This bold move, spearheaded by outgoing State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen of Infrastructure and Water Management, aims to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen-powered vehicles and infrastructure across the country.
One of the persistent challenges in the adoption of hydrogen as a viable fuel source has been the proverbial chicken-and-egg dilemma. Should you first have refueling stations to accommodate hydrogen vehicles, or should you wait for enough hydrogen vehicles on the road to make such stations profitable? The Dutch government has unequivocally chosen to break this deadlock by providing substantial funding for both.
With this funding, approximately forty hydrogen refueling stations will be constructed, and several thousand hydrogen-powered vehicles will be put into operation. Starting in March next year, transport companies can apply for subsidies to kickstart this transition. Each application must include at least one station and a fleet of vehicles substantial enough to ensure profitability, typically ten to fifteen vehicles.
The Dutch government’s commitment to hydrogen as a clean and sustainable fuel is a significant step forward in the nation’s energy transition. Hydrogen is well-regarded for its potential to decarbonize various sectors, from transportation to industry. By investing in both infrastructure and vehicles, the Netherlands aims to not only reduce carbon emissions but also stimulate economic growth and job creation in the hydrogen sector.
This move follows a pattern of ambitious environmental policies in the Netherlands. It aligns with the country’s goal to achieve a 49% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, demonstrating its dedication to addressing climate change head-on.
Interestingly, the Dutch hydrogen investment stands in stark contrast to the situation in Denmark, where the sole operator of hydrogen stations has ceased operations due to unsustainable losses. Denmark faced a similar chicken-and-egg dilemma, with too few hydrogen vehicles on the road to make the stations profitable.
In response to the Danish situation, Shell, one of the operators of hydrogen stations in the Netherlands, expressed cautious optimism about the future of hydrogen. While Full Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) may not have gained the same momentum as Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) at present, Shell continues to invest in the hydrogen economy, supplying certified green hydrogen to existing filling points, including for Q-Buzz and FCEVs.
Shell remains committed to the promising potential of hydrogen, not only in road transport but also in industry and maritime applications. The Dutch government’s substantial funding reinforces this commitment and places the Netherlands firmly on the path to a hydrogen-powered future.