The joint session of the Hydrogen and System Integration Focus Groups addressed challenges concerning the demand for hydrogen, infrastructure requirements for matching demand challenges and how to meet demand for hydrogen. Jurgen Hoekstra, Vice President & Managing Director, BASF Benelux; Fennet van de Wetering, quartermaster and special envoy Delta Rhine Corridor and Eric van Herel, Business Manager Energy Transition, Air Products shared their views and experiences.

Key takeaways from the discussion:
  • Many companies and their staff are committed to achieve net-zero and this is becoming a visible priority.
  • In The Netherlands the ecosystem wants to do things perfectly, but this contains a risk of shooting oneself in the foot. In this kind of transition, good comes before perfect.
  • In achieving system integration, different interests of those involved need to be considered. However, those involved should also be able to rise above their own interests and keep the common purpose and interest in mind.
  • The right legal framework is indispensable, entrepreneurial government is an accelerator.
  • The business case for hydrogen is not here now, even though we need it for greening our industry (and other sectors). For the business case to become viable, scale is needed.
  • To reach scale we need to facilitate and develop the market. The market is currently starting to get developed, initially through the import of blue as well as green hydrogen in the form of blue ammonia.
  • Further, to reach domestic customers and customers abroad, transport to the users is facilitated through our domestic backbone infrastructure and extended cross-border to our neighbouring countries. This is the aim of the Delta Rhine Corridor, serving as a great example of European cross-border collaboration.
Case: Delta Rhine Corridor
The Delta Rhine Corridor (DRC) is one of the largest infrastructure projects of the coming years and can play a major role in enabling energy transition and sustainable industry in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The project consortium works with a multitude of public and private stakeholders including national governments, provinces, national TSOs, port authorities and as many as 29 municipalities. The DRC is a multi-commodity initiative. It is planned to combine transport of hydrogen, the transport of ammonia and transport of power in HVDC powerlines from offshore wind and ports to users, as well as CO2 from inland industries to offshore storage. This can be considered a great example of truly large-scale cross sector and cross border system integration.
The project started as a private initiative, and in the short time of only two years was brought to a first supported and aligned concept with support of a whole range of local stakeholders, whereas ten years is more typical for such a complex project. It now has been adopted by the ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy for further realisation.

Fennet van de Wetering concluded that guts and new leadership from industry and an entrepreneurial government were crucial in advancing the DRC initiative: “Dare to play even before you know the rules of the game.” For this, trust and equality are needed. “What project initiative will come next?” For more information see the following link

The programme was put together by the Hydrogen Focus Group leads Joyce Conings, Program Coordinator, NLHydrogen and Jan Prins, VP Business & Project Development Siemens Energy and the System Integration Focus Group lead Andreas ten Cate, Program Director System Integration, ISPT.

The presentations from this session are not publicly available.
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