(Montel) The Netherlands could have a hydrogen exchange in place by 2027, boosting the trading of the potentially green fuel, a consultant said this week.
“This is an important opportunity we have in the Netherlands and beyond. Because we have important harbours, we have an important gas infrastructure that can be partly converted to hydrogen,” Bert den Ouden, managing director for energy at consultancy Berenschot, said on the Montel Weekly podcast.
The Netherlands has “pipelines, streets, in which several high-pressure pipelines are running together in parallel. So it is relatively easy to convert only one of [the pipelines],” he added.
Den Ouden has a long career in wholesale energy markets, joining Amsterdam-based bourse APX in 1999 and steering the company through a series of acquisitions, including the purchase of exchanges in the UK and the Benelux region.
He also oversaw the launch of the trilateral market coupling between the Dutch, Belgian and French markets in 2006, and the subsequent linking with the German market in 2010 and the Nordic and British markets in 2011.
The plans for the hydrogen bourse are different from “anything else I have done before”, Den Ouden said.
“In one fundamental way, this market is very different. The Dutch minister [Eric Wiebes] said it to me. He said to me: You have the audacity to launch a plan for an exchange between demand which is yet to come in, and supply which is yet to be established.”
The plan is part of the country’s Hyway27 project, which aims to determine how existing gas infrastructure can be used for hydrogen transport and storage.
The name Hyway27 says it all, said Den Ouden. “But we don't want to wait with the exchange until 2027,” he said. “That's why we are also involving the harbours.” He was referring to Groningen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the North Sea Port.
“Each of them, together with the industry in those parts, have far-reaching plans [for] hydrogen. And they're coming online earlier. “
The European Commission published a strategy this summer to scale up the technology. It plans to subsidise the development of 40 GW of electrolysis capacity this decade – facilities that can create the clean-burning fuel synthetically with renewable energy.