13.05: A new agreement on hydrogen initiatives was signed between NL-DE-BE

Rotterdam, 13 May 2024: The Belgian Hydrogen Council (BHC), NLHydrogen (NLH) and the German National Hydrogen Council (Nationaler Wasserstoffrat, NWR) officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 13 May 2024, to strength their commitment to joint initiatives to advance the hydrogen economy in the North West Europe region.

The MOU builds on the long history of cooperation and mutual support between Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. It aims to establish a platform for collaboration between industry, government, universities, research institutes and civil society to promote innovation and sustainability in the hydrogen sector.

The main objectives of the MoU are to facilitate collaborative publications, promote the widespread adoption of hydrogen technologies and support the integration of hydrogen into the renewable energy landscape, in line with European policies such as the Renewable Energy Directive II/III (RED II/III).

The three parties are convinced that this collaboration will have a positive impact on the market by encouraging joint initiatives in market and technology development, as well as policy, the regulatory framework and communication with stakeholders.

Jacqueline Vaessen, Acting Director of NLHydrogen, expressed her enthusiasm for the collaboration: ‘The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are historically the main users of hydrogen in Europe, and we face similar challenges in the production and use of clean hydrogen in different sectors. Joining forces with other associations to meet these challenges is beneficial for the development of the hydrogen market in all three countries.

The focus will be on seamless cross-border cooperation between Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany to maximise the impact of hydrogen initiatives on a regional scale.

Tom Hautekiet, President of the Belgian Hydrogen Council, said: ‘Importing green hydrogen from countries with enough wind, sun and space for European industry is an important step towards achieving Europe's climate goals. Belgium and the Netherlands will be major hubs for transporting hydrogen to German industry. The aim is to harmonise regulations and set up common infrastructures for importing, collecting and transporting hydrogen. In this way, we can create a solid ecosystem and establish an import centre in north-west Europe. This collaborative effort will not only benefit our Belgian industry, but will also contribute to the prosperity of the entire region’.

The MoU outlines a number of key activities to be implemented as part of this cooperation, including the exchange of information, the organisation of joint meetings and workshops, collaboration on events, as well as unified communication and promotion of results.

‘The Memorandum of Understanding marks a new stage in our collective efforts towards a sustainable energy future. We will leverage our expertise and resources to make significant progress in the adoption and integration of hydrogen technologies. This will open up new opportunities, accelerate technological progress and pave the way for a hydrogen-powered Europe,’ added Katherina Reiche, President of the German National Hydrogen Council.

The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding marks an important milestone in the collaborative efforts of Belgian, Dutch and German industries, universities, research institutes and civil society to stimulate innovation and promote the widespread adoption of hydrogen technologies in Europe. It also sends a strong signal to the respective governments and the new European Parliament that collaboration between neighbouring Member States will be essential to strengthen our hydrogen market in the future.

Text & pictures: Cluster TWEED

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