Dutch and German team up for hydrogen production from offshore wind

The HY3 project has found that there are a lot of opportunities for a common hydrogen market between the Netherlands and Germany that comes from offshore wind.

Between now and 2050, Forschungszentrum Jülich, the German energy agency – dena, and TNO expect a sevenfold increase in a shared German-Netherlands hydrogen market. In their scenario, up to 7.1 million tons of hydrogen produced from offshore wind energy is fed to demand centers in the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia via a network of over 5000 kilometers of pipelines.

The HY3 project looked into various aspects of hydrogen value chains for connecting hydrogen production in the Dutch and German North Seas with demand centers in the Netherlands and Germany, with a particular focus on the North Rhine-Westphalian region.

Hydrogen production and imports

Green hydrogen was assumed to be produced using electrolysis of fresh or desalinized seawater, powered by renewable electricity from North Sea offshore wind sources, for this study. Annual hydrogen production from offshore wind in the Netherlands will reach 54–139 TWh by 2050, while Germany will produce 37–100 TWh.

Other than green hydrogen produced from offshore wind in the North Sea, other sources of hydrogen will be required to meet future hydrogen demand in the Netherlands and NRW. Importing hydrogen is one example.

The operators of the Dutch and German natural gas transmission grids have both published plans for a national hydrogen backbone. According to the study, partially repurposing natural gas pipelines in the Netherlands and Germany for hydrogen transport will provide enough capacity until 2030. Bottlenecks could form around hydrogen import ports after 2030 in some areas.

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