Dutch Hydrogen Envoy visits the UK

The Netherlands and the UK are key players when it comes to innovations for the establishment of a hydrogen-based economy. Hydrogen has the potential to play a huge part in our energy future, and in order to develop a hydrogen-based economy, bilateral and international collaboration is necessary. To better understand how the Netherlands and the UK can collaborate to make clean hydrogen energy contribute to our net-zero targets, the Dutch Embassy in the UK hosted the Dutch Hydrogen Envoy Noé Van Hulst for a three-day visit to Edinburgh, Leeds and London last week.

A hydrogen-based economy

Hydrogen can be used as a sustainable, clean-burning alternative for fossil fuels in transportation and mobility, and as an alternative to natural gas - currently used a lot in industry, energy generation and of course to heat our homes. Hydrogen can also be stored and transported at large scale with relative ease. Together with electrification through use of solar and wind energy, the utilization of hydrogen will be necessary to reach our net-zero targets. To be able to use hydrogen at a similar cost as natural gas in the future, we now have to bring it up to scale and start work on further developing a hydrogen-based economy.

Buses running on hydrogen fuel in Aberdeen, Scotland
Buses running on hydrogen fuel in Aberdeen, Scotland

UK hydrogen developments

During our visit, the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association brought together many parties involved in hydrogen activities throughout Scotland to discuss the latest developments together. Among other things we learnt that the city of Aberdeen already has 10 hydrogen buses driving around the city, and that the University of Edinburgh is doing advanced research on underground storage of hydrogen.

Project H21 Leeds gas network infrastructure conversion
Project H21 Leeds gas network infrastructure conversion

The visit to the H21 Project in Leeds - where they are conducting research into converting existing UK gas networks for the transport of hydrogen in the future - was of particular interest for The Netherlands with regard to our natural gas phase out in Groningen, and the existing gas infrastructure there that could be used for hydrogen in the future.

Collaboration is key!

To round-off the Dutch Hydrogen Envoy’s visit, the role of hydrogen in our future energy systems was the topic of discussion and debate amongst stakeholders gathered for a luncheon at the Ambassador’s residence. It is clear that we can learn a lot from each other, and that we need to work together now if we want to establish hydrogen as a viable contribution to a sustainable energy supply in the future. Who’s with us?

For any questions or further information, please email LON-EA@minbuza.nl.