The cabinet is coming up with a plan to adapt existing gas pipelines for the transport of hydrogen. State Secretary Yeşilgöz-Zegerius of Economic Affairs and Climate announced this in response to the HyWay27 report. This report concludes that it is feasible, safe and cost-efficient to reuse existing gas pipelines for hydrogen.
The government sees an important role for CO2-free hydrogen in the transition to a sustainable energy system. Hydrogen can not only contribute to achieving the climate goals, it also offers opportunities for economic growth. Thanks to its favorable location, the international ports and the existing gas networks and storage capacity, the Netherlands can play a pivotal role in the international hydrogen market in the future. To seize this opportunity, the government is now taking an important concrete next step: developing a roll-out plan for a hydrogen transport network.
Various studies have shown that CO2-free hydrogen is needed to realize the Dutch ambition of a sustainable, climate-neutral economy. The HyWay27 research states that the development of transport capacity for hydrogen is a crucial step to give hydrogen a key position in our economy and energy supply. In the short term, the research mainly sees demand from industry. In the longer term, it is expected that concrete demand for transport capacity for hydrogen will also arise from the mobility, built environment and electricity sector (CO2-free adjustable capacity). The HyWay27 report was drawn up by PWC Strategy& on the basis of a joint study by the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate and Finance and the national grid operators TenneT and Gasunie.
On the basis of this study, the Cabinet concludes that a hydrogen transmission network is necessary and that, for the sake of cost-effectiveness, this will have to consist as much as possible of the reuse of existing pipelines. That is why the government intends to ask Gasunie to take on the development of the hydrogen transport network and to free up the gas pipelines for reuse. The cabinet is also coming up with a plan, which uses the Cluster Energy Strategies (CES), which provides insight into where and when a need for transport capacity arises. In combination with a timeline for the availability of pipelines, this should lead to a substantiated roll-out and phasing of the national hydrogen network. It is up to a new cabinet to decide how the pipes should be laid and how they should be financed.
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