As  Finland took the helm of the EU presidency on July 1 prime minsiter Annti Rinne indicated that  the Finnish Government Programme has the slogan “Sustainable Europe – Sustainable future”  and starts with the words ‘Climate change’.  Finland’s goal is  to reach carbon neutrality  by 2035. Twenty-four member states backed the agreement on carbon neutrality by 2050 by end of June  2019, four countries vetoed it – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Poland.

On June 28, 2019 the Dutch government announced a “substantial hydrogen program” as part of its Climate agreement, focussing on the deployment of, preferably green, hydrogen in industrial and energy processes.  The ambition is to reach 3-4 GW of electrlyzer capacity aligned with the production of green eletricity in 2030, 800 MW electrolyzer capacity in 2025 and buses and trucks towards 2025, inland shipping and rail  around 2030 . The program will be focussed on an optimal H2 infrastructure for industrial and energy clusters . The Dutch Climate agreement refers to sector programs to develop the concrete  demand for specific applaications although close cooperation with the Hydrogen programme wiil be deetermining what support teh program could offer. An additonal annual 30 -40 mln budget will be dedicated to the hydrogen programme form the eletricity and industry budget.

In this context on July 2, 2019 under blue skies of Rotterdam the Blue H- vision of the Port of Rotterdam was presentend in  the presence of the Dutch Economic Affairs and Climate minister Eric Wiebes, who summarized the vision as “towards green via blue”. The H-vision is focussing on the production of hydrogen using natural gas and refinery fuel gas combined with CCS in empty gas field in the North Sea, was presented. Main conclusions of the report:  large-scale production and utilisation of blue hydrogen will allow local industry in Rotterdam to substantially reduce its CO2 emissions, well before 2030 . The CO2 that is released during production will be captured and stored in depleted gas fields under the North Sea. The blue hydrogen obtained by these means can subsequently be used as a low-carbon energy carrier in industrial processes in order to generate high temperatures or to produce electricity.  The H-vision report was prepared by Deltalinqs  coordinated by Deltalinqs, andd supported by TNO, Air Liquide, BP, EBN, Engie, Equinor, Gasunie, GasTerra, Linde, OCI N.V., the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Shell, TAQA, Uniper and Royal Vopak. Deltalinqs promoting common interests of over 95% of all logistic, ports and industrial enterprises in mainport Rotterdam (700) ., accounting for 3.2% of the Dutch Gross National Product (€21Bn), employing over 180,000 people.

H-vision includes detailed calculations of the technical, financial and market conditions for a number of different scopes (low, reference, high):

  • H-vision is able to realise a substantial CO2 reduction in the short term. Savings will increase from 2.2 million tonnes in 2026 up to 4.3 million tonnes in 2031.
  • When considered in relation to the total CO2 emissions of Rotterdam’s industrial sector in 2018 (26.4 million tonnes), the adoption of blue hydrogen as an energy carrier for industrial purposes, will result in an emission reduction of 16%.
  • The price per tonne of CO2 saved ranges from €86 to €146 (excluding ETS credits), depending on which economic scenario is assumed to play out.
  • The H-vision hydrogen systems that will be built will have an annual production capacity of over 700 kilotonnes – equivalent to some 3200 MW. This will allow Rotterdam’s industrial sector to produce at least 20% of its required heat and power using blue hydrogen.
  • Since CO2 is captured before any combustion takes place, industry will enjoy a high degree of flexibility. Hydrogen can be utilised on a large scale as a raw material or fuel in industrial processes and as an energy carrier for the production of electricity. Where desired, industries are also free to switch to other CO2 reduction methods at a later date – avoiding a ‘lock-in’ situation. Low-carbon blue hydrogen can be easily used for other purposes and can also be mixed with green hydrogen. While the methods used to produce the hydrogen may differ, the product remains the same.