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Energy energy General

The hydrogen energy storage revolution in the Netherlands

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by: Marike Boonstra
the hydrogen energy storage revolution in the netherlands

The hydrogen revolution has been announced before – but now it really seems to be happening. The end of natural gas extraction in Groningen offers new opportunities. Are the Netherlands finally really for hydrogen?

"Yes, my friends, I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light. Water will be the coal of the future!" You can read this quotation in The Mysterious Island, a novel by Jules Verne, written in 1876. Since the beginning of the nineteenth century by the discovery that by adding electricity to water hydrogen and oxygen are released (so-called electrolysis), and that the reverse process, bringing together of hydrogen and oxygen, water and electricity (the fuel cell effect), people dreamed of hydrogen and the arrival of the hydrogen revolution announced.

A perfect energy storage

"I believe this is really going to happen,” says director of the Dutch television series VPRO Tegenlicht Rob van Hattum (64). He has been working on this subject since he was just twenty years old. Van Hattum has made three documentaries about hydrogen, his last one being a movie released in 2004. Now, fifteen years later, hydrogen is still a hot item. “Solar and wind energy are difficult to store. And that is a problem, because you are dependent on nature, you have to have a buffer. Wind farms are now being shut down, because they can´t lose the energy. In hydrogen (liquid or in gaseous form) you can store energy perfectly."

The hydrogen games

Japan already proved that it is possible: the 2020 Olympic Games are already named 'the hydrogen games', because the entire energy supply will run on hydrogen. What about Holland? There is already a lot of experimenting with hydrogen in the Netherlands, by large and small parties. Gasunie has started a pilot project near Veendam in Groningen. An installation is being built in which, for the first time on a larger scale, sustainably generated electricity, originating from 8500 solar panels, is converted into hydrogen (and energy for the installation itself).

An indispensable part of a delta plan

The realization that hydrogen can play a role in the future energy supply is growing in the Netherlands. The Hydrogen Coalition, a group of 27 environmental organizations, knowledge institutions, governments and companies - including network operators and heavy industry (including Tata Steel and AkzoNobel) - called on the government last year to ‘give priority to hydrogen as an essential building block for the energy transition'.

The message: invest big in development and innovation of the entire hydrogen chain: hydrogen is an indispensable part of a (necessary) delta plan for Dutch energy supply. There are a lot of ideas, for instance to create a large island in the North Sea and put windmills down there. The hydrogen produced on site can be pumped to the mainland via existing gas pipelines, where it is stored underground and further distributed, to industry, to petrol stations, to homes.

All kinds of opportunities

The Netherlands hás to get rid of natural gas. Right now, the solution appears to be (expensive) heat pumps and insulation. But by no means all houses can be heated like this, says Van Hattum, and why should we when it can be done with hydrogen. The gas infrastructure is already there, after all. That gas network offers all kinds of opportunities. Not only is Groningen the gateway to the European gas trade, it can also become the hydrogen connection point in Europe. The north of the Netherlands has a good chance to take a leading role in the upcoming hydrogen revolution, with the Wadden Sea and the North Sea - where the winds are wild - as a hinterland, with the existing gas infrastructure and the gas storage fields and with the knowledge gained in sixty years of gas extraction and transport.

The hydrogen revolution is close, and that is a fact. Will Van Hattum be right, and is this really going to happen? Watch his documentary ‘Deltaplan Waterstof' (Dutch language) on VPRO Tegenlicht to find out more on this topic.

https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy

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The hydrogen energy storage revolution in the Netherlands

The hydrogen revolution has been announced before – but now it really seems to be happening. The end of natural gas extraction in Groningen offers new opportunities. Are the Netherlands finally really for hydrogen? "Yes, my friends, I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light. Water will be the coal of the future!" You can read this quotation in The Mysterious Island, a novel by Jules Verne, written in 1876. Since the beginning of the nineteenth century by the discovery that by adding electricity to water hydrogen and oxygen are released (so-called electrolysis), and that the reverse process, bringing together of hydrogen and oxygen, water and electricity (the fuel cell effect), people dreamed of hydrogen and the arrival of the hydrogen revolution announced. A perfect energy storage "I believe this is really going to happen,” says director of the Dutch television series VPRO Tegenlicht Rob van Hattum (64). He has been working on this subject since he was just twenty years old. Van Hattum has made three documentaries about hydrogen, his last one being a movie released in 2004. Now, fifteen years later, hydrogen is still a hot item. “Solar and wind energy are difficult to store. And that is a problem, because you are dependent on nature, you have to have a buffer. Wind farms are now being shut down, because they can´t lose the energy. In hydrogen (liquid or in gaseous form) you can store energy perfectly." The hydrogen games Japan already proved that it is possible: the 2020 Olympic Games are already named 'the hydrogen games', because the entire energy supply will run on hydrogen. What about Holland? There is already a lot of experimenting with hydrogen in the Netherlands, by large and small parties. Gasunie has started a pilot project near Veendam in Groningen. An installation is being built in which, for the first time on a larger scale, sustainably generated electricity, originating from 8500 solar panels, is converted into hydrogen (and energy for the installation itself). An indispensable part of a delta plan The realization that hydrogen can play a role in the future energy supply is growing in the Netherlands. The Hydrogen Coalition, a group of 27 environmental organizations, knowledge institutions, governments and companies - including network operators and heavy industry (including Tata Steel and AkzoNobel) - called on the government last year to ‘give priority to hydrogen as an essential building block for the energy transition'. The message: invest big in development and innovation of the entire  hydrogen chain: hydrogen is an indispensable part of a (necessary) delta plan for Dutch energy supply. There are a lot of ideas, for instance to create a large island in the North Sea and put windmills down there. The hydrogen produced on site can be pumped to the mainland via existing gas pipelines, where it is stored underground and further distributed, to industry, to petrol stations, to homes. All kinds of opportunities The Netherlands hás to get rid of natural gas. Right now, the solution appears to be (expensive) heat pumps and insulation. But by no means all houses can be heated like this, says Van Hattum, and why should we when it can be done with hydrogen. The gas infrastructure is already there, after all. That gas network offers all kinds of opportunities. Not only is Groningen the gateway to the European gas trade, it can also become the hydrogen connection point in Europe. The north of the Netherlands has a good chance to take a leading role in the upcoming hydrogen revolution, with the Wadden Sea and the North Sea - where the winds are wild - as a hinterland, with the existing gas infrastructure and the gas storage fields and with the knowledge gained in sixty years of gas extraction and transport. The hydrogen revolution is close, and that is a fact. Will Van Hattum be right, and is this really going to happen? Watch his documentary ‘Deltaplan Waterstof' (Dutch language) on VPRO Tegenlicht to find out more on this topic. {youtube} https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy