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The Netherlands and Belgium well-placed to become Northwest Europe’s leading hydrogen import hub

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Hydrogen Review,

Research from Westwood Global Energy Group (Westwood) reveals an optimistic outlook for Northwest Europe hydrogen imports, led by ambitious targets set by the Netherlands and Belgium, which have the collective potential to provide 62% of the EU’s import target.

However, a range of factors including the countries’ own ability to scale domestic production, timely development of offshore wind and infrastructure and the establishment of global partnerships will be crucial to their success.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in its 2022 REPower EU proposal, the EU unveiled targets for 10 million tpy of domestic hydrogen production and 10 million tpy of hydrogen imports by 2030. And with ambitious continental targets, the Netherlands and Belgium announced plans to become leading hydrogen import hubs for Europe.

David Linden, Head of Energy Transition, Westwood said: “The Netherlands and Belgium are already laying the groundwork to lead the way on hydrogen imports in Northwest Europe. Despite Belgium’s seemingly conservative target relative to the Netherlands, the country stands ready to take the necessary steps for the promotion of hydrogen today, with great potential for further expansion in the future.”

Jun Sasamura, Senior Analyst – Hydrogen, Westwood continues: “As home to two of the continent’s biggest ports, the expansion of critical infrastructure linking supply and demand will be key to success, as will the establishment of global partnerships capable of supplying low-cost hydrogen.”

The success of domestic offshore wind will also play a pivotal role in meeting hydrogen targets. 72% of the Netherlands’ 12.5 GW pipeline are green hydrogen projects with 92% of these requiring power from offshore wind. In addition, Westwood’s Hydrogen Project Certainty analysis highlights the risk in reaching domestic production targets. Research reveals only 3 million tpy of the Netherlands’ announced hydrogen pipeline is ‘probable’, leaving the country 1 GW short of its 4 GW by 2030 target. This increases to a shortfall of 5 GW if the proposed 8G W target for 2032 is approved. Therefore, imports could likely be required to meet the country’s own domestic decarbonisation goals, before being available to wider-Europe.

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