The Netherlands has announced plans to use offshore wind power for large-scale offshore hydrogen production. The government-led project will see approximately 500MW of electrolysis capacity being built in the North of the Wadden Islands wind energy area, which is expected to be operational by 2031.
The choice of location for the project is strategic, as a wind farm was already planned in the area to produce electricity. Additionally, an existing natural gas pipeline could be repurposed to transport the hydrogen to land and connected to the onshore hydrogen network.
Before issuing tenders, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, in collaboration with the Groningen region, parties around the Wadden Sea Region, and other involved parties, are considering a range of important factors. These include the landing of the pipeline to bring the hydrogen ashore, as well as how hydrogen production can be done safely and in an ecologically responsible manner.
In line with this, a smaller pilot project with an electrolysis capacity of approximately 50-100MW is currently underway. This pilot project aims to remove any defects in the technology, ensuring that the 500MW project can be realized efficiently.
Minister for Climate and Energy Policy Rob Jetten said: “We are a global leader with this plan. It is also a big step on top of the goal of 4GW electrolysis in 2030 from the Climate Agreement. We have already designated the area as a preferred location so that preparations can start quickly and we provide the sector with clarity so that they can make their investment plans.
“I am also very happy with the support we receive from local authorities. The province and the municipalities are fully committed to a green economy in which the production of sustainable energy is central.”
This ambitious plan is a crucial step towards the Netherlands’ goal of achieving a 95% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, as set out in the Paris Agreement.