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Hydrogen, electricity, CO2 storage, heat and steam are crucial for a sustainable society. But these energy sources should be able to reach our front doors. That is why the third edition of the online event Industry in Gesprek was about infrastructure, and the ways in which it can contribute to achieving climate goals.
Click here to read this article in Dutch.
The Dutch Climate Agreement, a follow-up of the Paris Agreement, states that CO2 emissions must decrease by 49% in 2030, as compared to 1990. Infrastructure can play a role in this. On Thursday May 28, four panel members and around fifty participants discussed the bottlenecks and opportunities of a future infrastructure. Carolien Gehrels, director of European Cities at Arcadis, kicked off the session. She chaired the Taskforce Infrastructure Climate Agreement Industry (TIKI), which issued an advice to Eric Wiebes, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, on May 13. The taskforce focused on six industrial clusters (five regional clusters and a sixth cluster of sectors including, among others, paper and waste processing which is distributed throughout the country) and on hydrogen, electricity, CO2 and heat and steam, which are defined as the four modalities
Gehrels shares the highlights of the advice: ‘First of all: build a hydrogen backbone. From an international perspective, it is sensible to strengthen what you’re good at. We have a natural gas network, industrial clusters and international connections, enabling us to transport hydrogen molecules relatively cheaply. Furthermore, CO2 capture and storage is the only way forward for the industry to meet climate goals. We are lucky to have many pipelines and empty gas and oil fields. We must therefore start with the flagship projects for CO2 storage Athos (in the North Sea Canal area) and Porthos (in the Port of Rotterdam). Other clusters such as Chemelot in Limburg may follow suit. And finally: we need to use heat and steam. That’s a no brainer.’
Gasunie is an important player in the development of a hydrogen network. Ulco Vermeulen, director of Participations & Business Development at Gasunie and member of the Executive Board, says that Gasunie is diversified and ready for transporting other ‘molecules’ such as heat, hydrogen and CO2, in addition to gas. ‘We want to play a leading role in this transformation and break through the “chicken-or-egg dilemma”. So the infrastructure is already in place when the alternative energy sources emerge.’
Many questions pop up in the chat option, such as: why do we choose hydrogen and does this lead to an exclusion of other energy sources? Tjeerd Jongsma, director of ISPT, indicates that hydrogen is a logical step in making the industry more sustainable. ‘It is absolutely a no-regret option. Electricity is perhaps also interesting, because a great savings potential could be achieved. And it is actually a bit unfortunate that hydrogen binds us to the old, heat-driven system, so we may miss innovation opportunities. The transport of hydrogen is possibly cheaper, but the application might not be.’ Vermeulen expects the Netherlands and Northwest Europe could be a competitive producer of hydrogen using a pipeline network. ‘But in the long run it might be transported by ships around the world and be produced in other countries, just like we have seen in natural gas.’
No insider’s party
During the conversation, there is a lot of attention for the cooperation with the national government. According to the taskforce, the government should take the lead, but it should not be an insider’s party either, says Gehrels. It is ultimately about bottom-up initiatives from the industry. ‘The taskforce has now been decommissioned,’ said Gehrels. ‘But we have to keep knocking on doors in the Hague and keep this issue at the top of the minister’s agenda.’
About this series
During the online event Industry in Gesprek (in Dutch), the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) discusses current topics such as innovation, AI and infrastructure with industry partners. The next edition is focused on the food chain of the future and takes place on Thursday June 25.
On March 18th, the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) and its partners virtually kicked-off HyChain 4. This project helps to accelerate informed decision making for the deployment of hydrogen value chains and implementation of the hydrogen economy in the Netherlands and across Europe.
Hydrogen and future economy
Hydrogen plays a key role in the future economy as carbon-free energy carrier and feedstock. However, there is yet much uncertainty about the rate at which a hydrogen economy can be build. To clarify the needs and possibilities for the Dutch hydrogen infrastructure, investments are needed in all stages and sectors of the supply chain: production, storage, transportation and use. The HyChain 4 project tries to create clarity in this uncertainty by developing models and tools.
How to deliver green hydrogen
The key solution of the HyChain 4 project is to create a tool consisting of a common data set and model that describe how investments need to be made over time to create the value chains that deliver green hydrogen from production to its use in the industry. This tool supports stakeholders in their decision making by identifying the most attractive investments needed to develop the hydrogen economy as an integral part of the energy transition challenge of the industry.
In addition a sustainable service model is developed that secures long-term access and maintenance of the tools and data. The HyChain 4 project focuses on the Netherlands as key region in the North Western European energy network. Within the Netherlands we will look in more detail into two industry clusters: the SouthWest Netherlands cluster (SWNL) and the Port of Rotterdam Region (POR).
Future renewable hydrogen
The different HyChain projects look at the development of future renewable hydrogen value chains with the Netherlands as a focal point. Industry, consultants and knowledge institutes work together to clarify what is needed to build energy chains based on large-scale affordable production of green hydrogen. HyChain consists of five parts, of which the first three were finished in 2019. The HyChain projects are part of the Hydrohub Innovation Program. ISPT established this program to increase the understanding of the role of hydrogen in the industrial energy transition.
It is obvious that 2019 has been an impactful year. Not only for the sustainable process industry, but also throughout society, in the Netherlands and beyond. Below we briefly illustrate some important moments in 2019. And with some, we want to emphasize that a complete overview of all ISPT’s key moments is not possible, because of the simple fact that all our work matters equally.
Playing a key role in the Dutch Climate Agreement
Without doubt, the presentation of the Dutch climate agreement late June was one of the most memorable moments in 2019. It did not only take hold of organizations and people working to create a sustainable future, no, it preoccupied the minds of the whole country. It illustrates how the Netherlands has a strong ambition to show that complex system changes are not only possible for industry, but also provide competitive advantages. In short, climate and sustainability issues have been pushed to the top of the political agenda.
Pushing circularity forward in the steel industry
While we contributed to the climate round table discussions that resulted in the climate agreement, we also worked hard to develop new projects with meaningful partners in – and outside of the Netherlands.
In the first half of 2019, we partnered with Dow, Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal, TNO.ECN and Ghent University, to join forces to develop a circular carbon chain with the steel industry. Although the Benelux steel industry is very efficient, they still contribute much to worldwide CO2 emission. The Steel2Chemicals project therefore aims to valorize Carbon-Monoxide (CO) produced in the steel-making processes of ArcelorMittal and Tata Steel.
Making plastics circular
In addition, in close collaboration with DPI and together with Amcor, Dow Chemicals, Lego, Neste, Nestle, Nouryon, NTCP, Omrin, and TOMRA, we kicked off the start of the Circular Plastics Initiative in the second half of the year.
An important issue will be packaging redesign: exploring the opportunities and restrictions in optimizing plastic packaging for cost-effective mechanical as well as chemical recycling, while retaining optimal packaging performance and customer experience.
In all efforts of Circular Plastics, the approach is to establish projects across the whole value chain and bring together all relevant parties, such as brand owners, waste management and recycling companies, and the chemical industry.
Establishing a future for green hydrogen
But there were more than circularity-focused initiatives. In December, the first results of the HyChain project were presented at the European Energy & Industry Summit in Amsterdam.
To increase the understanding of the role of hydrogen in the industrial energy transition, the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) established the Hydrohub Innovation Program and the HyChain project is part of this program. HyChain is focused on a strategic understanding of the drivers behind global emergence of future renewable hydrogen value chains.
In order to provide the Dutch industry with sustainable hydrogen much needs to be done. Sustainable hydrogen can be generated by means of water electrolysis, utilizing electricity from wind and sun. Bringing that to an industrial level requires a thousandfold scale-up of existing technology. An important step for this was the kick-off of the Megawatt Hydrohub Testcentre in Groningen.
Making the food industry more sustainable
With the ever faster changing consumer demands, the food industry needs to speed up its innovation and production process to become more efficient and more sustainable. To accelerate this, the new project Internet of Food (IoF) project has been created.
Different types of data are currently stored in different databases and in most cases not Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (also referred to as FAIR data). These data are ranging from product development to scientific literature and consumer-accessible information. To allow the sharing of this massive amount of data and models – and to make this process more efficient – the new project IoF focuses on defining and setting up an infrastructure.
Reducing global energy consumption with 40%
The project ERGO kicked off during the second half of the year. AC motors consume roughly 40% of the world’s electric energy resources. To address this issue, we partnered with Nouryon, Vopak, Semiotic Labs, TPA Adviseurs and the Universiteit Utrecht’s Copernicus Institute, to develop algorithms that analyze electrical waveforms in order to provide asset owners with the insights needed to reduce energy consumption by 15% to 30%, without compromising on output.
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Hydrogen plays an important role in the future renewable energy systems. In a large scale sustainable energy system green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis of water, is a crucial element. To increase the understanding of the role of hydrogen in the industrial energy transition, the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) established the Hydrohub Innovation Program. The HyChain project, part of this program, is focused on a strategic understanding of the drivers behind global emergence of future renewable hydrogen value chains. Andreas ten Cate, program director System Integration at Institute of Sustainable Process Technology, introduced the first findings of the HyChain project at the European Energy & Industry Summit in Amsterdam.
The HyChain project looks at the development of future renewable hydrogen value chains with the Netherlands as a focal point. Industry, consultants and knowledge institutes work together to clarify what is needed to build energy chains based on large-scale affordable production of green hydrogen. The program consists of five parts, of which the first three were finished in 2019.
Investigating hydrogen production, storage, transport and future use in industry
The HyChain 1 project focused on how energy and feedstock demand in the process industries may change when aiming to become carbon neutral. The main focus of HyChain 1 is to explore the major tipping points that influence the shift from incremental change towards rapid growth in a hydrogen economy, across various sectors.
The HyChain 2 project focuses on the cost implications of importing renewable electricity, hydrogen and hydrogen carriers into the Netherlands. Within the project a high-level model is developed to evaluate these import costs and their dependencies on the various input parameters.
For HyChain 3, in a collaborative effort between industry parties and research institutions, key information was collected into 59 fact sheets on technologies for production, conversion, storage, transportation, and reconversion of hydrogen. In addition to quantitative information, the project also explored qualitative risks or opportunities that are known to be associated with specific technologies.
Partners in HyChain
Partners in HyChain are Nouryon, OCI Nitrogen, Yara, Dow, Vopak, Gasunie, Stedin, Frames, Proton Ventures, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam. The research in the first parts of the project has been carried out by RHDHV, Kalavasta, Quintel, Metabolic, ECN/TNO and TU Delft.
All reports, the import model and the database can be found here.
The Hydrohub Innovation Program comprises all ISPT activities in sustainable hydrogen production. It is a mission-oriented program for developing largescale, electrolysis-based production of sustainable and low-cost hydrogen, as a driver for circular industrial chains. The program is managed by the ISPT cluster System Integration and currently revolves around three main projects:
Development of an open-innovation infrastructure for stress testing of water electrolysis technology at an industrially relevant scale.
Conceptual design of a many-electrolyzer system of gigawatt size – the size that bridges large-scale renewable power production in offshore wind parks and industrial-scale use of hydrogen for feedstock and energy purposes.
A series of exploratory studies focused on a strategic understanding of the drivers behind global emergence of hydrogen value chains, covering aspects such as sources of supply, demand, transport, costs, environmental impact and public engagement.
Join the Hydrohub Innovation Program
The Hydrohub Innovation Program is open for more participants. For more information, use the contact form below to contact Program Director Andreas ten Cate and Program Manager Carol Xiao.
Europe’s outstanding gathering of people from the hydrogen field! A single place of exchanges to meet the decision makers, who are users, industrial or service providers.
How can we implement a circular industry in all sectors?
The ISPT Conference is the annual gathering of the ISPT network. This year’s theme is circularity, a booming term in both industry as well as the public debate. How can we implement the goal of a circular industry in the different sectors, like Food, Paper, Steel, and Chemistry?
After a plenary opening, we invite partners to discuss their ideas and best practices in workshops.
For the full program and registration, check the registration page.
Hydrogen plays a vital role in creating renewable energy systems. To increase the understanding of the role of hydrogen in the industrial energy transition, the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) established the Hydrohub Innovation Program.
The Netherlands currently plays a key role in the fossil energy supply chain to entire Western Europe, both as an energy carrier and as a feedstock for industrial use. The question is how – under the transition to a carbon-neutral society – the current fossil energy supply chains will transform into green energy supply chains. It is expected that these are based on emission-free hydrogen. In the first three HyChain reports we look at the building blocks that shape these future supply chains; HyChain I investigated the adoption of hydrogen in industry, HyChain II looked at the role and likelihood of hydrogen based energy vectors reaching Western Europe through import and HyChain III provides a systematic overview of conversion, transport and storage technologies that build the value chains.
Hydrogen tipping points
In the first project, HyChain I, we have studied how energy and feedstock demand in the process industries may change when aiming to become carbon neutral. The main focus of the HyChain I report is to explore the major tipping points influencing the shift from incremental change towards rapid growth in a hydrogen economy, across various sectors.
Two hydrogen scenarios
The report indicates that between a minimum and maximum hydrogen adoption scenario there is a broad bandwidth for estimated potential hydrogen demand. The three major uses of hydrogen identified are: fuel for international shipping, for industrial heating, and as feedstock for (petro-) chemical industry. Shifting from the low-end scenario to the high-end scenario is primarily driven by cost and availability of the primary energy sources. In the minimum scenario, hydrogen is only used in the fertilizer industry and in part for use in high temperature heating. The high scenario shows the expected maximum hydrogen demand based on replacing all major current industrial energy and feedstock uses.
Uncertainty hydrogen in projected future
The scenarios illustrate the high uncertainty in the projected future role of hydrogen in the Netherlands. Key influencing factors are political incentives, pace and cost level of transition in the (renewable) power sector, availability and acceptance of use of biomass and CCS and the incentives installed to enforce CO2 emission reduction to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement goals. This initial analysis provides a solid basis to build further in analyzing the role of hydrogen on a broader system perspective in the next stages of the HyChain project.
The HyChain reports
Download the other HyChain reports here.
Read more about the HyChain II report here.
The HyChain III report will be published soon. To stay up to date about our work and publications, register for our newsletter here.
Kalavasta publishes report on HyChain II
Hydrogen could play a vital role in future renewable energy systems. In our HyChain projects, part of our Hydrohub Innovation Program, we look at an optimisation of a future renewable hydrogen value chain, with the Netherlands as a focal point. The HyChain II project specifically focusses on the cost implications of importing renewable electricity, hydrogen and hydrogen carriers into the Netherlands. Within the project a high-level model is developed to evaluate these import costs and their dependencies on the various input parameters. Three import routes are being explored using a greenfield approach and 2050 as a reference year. Read all about it in the report by Kalavasta.
This report is the result of the ISPT HyChain project that investigates the emergence of novel green-hydrogen-based supply chains as driver for the energy transition. In addition to the HyChain II report, HyChain I investigated the role of green hydrogen in industrial energy transition while HyChain III systematically explored all technological options to convert renewable energy into hydrogen and derived dense energy carriers and technologies to store and transport those, as building blocks of the future supply chains. In HyChain IV we will carry on developing an integrated model for extensive scenario analysis.