North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands have agreed to intensify cooperation in the field of hydrogen economy. Economics and Energy Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart and his Dutch counterpart Eric Wiebes signed corresponding declarations of intent at the Combined Energy-Conference in Arnhem. The aim is to exploit the potential of green hydrogen and to promote the development of a joint infrastructure across borders. Companies and scientific institutions are participating in the conference in order to link their energy policy activities. The focus is also on the expansion of renewable energies and CO2-reduction in industry.
Minister Pinkwart: “Hydrogen will make a major contribution to greater competitiveness and climate protection in industry. It is the key to a largely greenhouse gas-neutral economy and will develop into a globally traded energy carrier. With the newly launched hydrogen projects, we are shaping the restructuring of the industry together and creating the ideal conditions to exploit cross-border potential. As an energy and industrial state, North Rhine-Westphalia has a special responsibility for a successful energy transition. The Netherlands are an important and indispensable partner for us."
Minister Wiebes: “The Netherlands and North Rhine Westphalia are uniquely positioned to translate the scale up of green hydrogen into economic opportunities. We already have existing cross-border pipeline infrastructure, logistical routes and research institutes. With the expected growth in (offshore) wind and the rising demand from industries that need green hydrogen to decarbonize, we have all the circumstances in our region to become a frontrunner in the realization of a decarbonized economy.”
The Hy3 project investigates the potential for green hydrogen business models between the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia. The focus is on the production of green hydrogen by offshore wind turbines, which can be transported to major industrial customers in North Rhine-Westphalia through released gas pipelines. Green hydrogen, which saves emissions in steel production, for example, can thus make a major contribution to more climate protection in industry. In addition to the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, the project partners include the Dutch Ministry of Economics and Climate and the Federal Ministry of Economics. The Hy3 feasibility study will be completed by the end of 2020.
Minister Pinkwart and the regional minister of the province of South Holland, Floor Vermeulen, signed a letter of intent for the RH2INE (Rhine Hydrogen Integration Network of Excellence) project. Together with the province of South Holland and the ports of Rotterdam, Duisburg, Neuss/Duesseldorf and Cologne, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to work with RH2INE on the development of an infrastructure for hydrogen supply in the Rhine ports. The aim is to ensure this by 2030 for freight transport, especially inland waterway transport along the Rhine-Alpine corridor (Rotterdam-Genoa). In a first project, a feasibility study on the use of hydrogen in inland waterway transport and port infrastructure will be carried out. Further projects will identify synergies with other sectors, especially industry.
The Combined Energy Conference with over 400 participants from the energy industry is being organized by EnergyAgency.NRW in cooperation with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO.nl. The Netherlands has been North Rhine-Westphalia's most important trading partner for many years. In recent decades, both countries, with a combined population of more than 35 million, have developed into a major cross-border European region.
Further information on the Combined Energy program is available at www.combined-energy.eu
Uwe H. Burghardt M. A.
Kommunikation, Pressesprecher Innovationen und Netzwerke
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