Tripartite Belgian-Dutch-German MOU signed to advance the hydrogen economy in NW Europe

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(C) Fred Libochant Fotografie

The Belgian Hydrogen Council (BHC), NLHydrogen (NLH), and the German National Hydrogen Council (Nationaler Wasserstoffrat, NWR) have officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week, solidifying their commitment to joint initiatives aimed at advancing the hydrogen economy within the North-West region of Europe.

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

Key objectives of the MOU include facilitating collaborative publications, promoting the widespread adoption of hydrogen technologies, and supporting the integration of hydrogen into the renewable energy landscape in alignment with European policies such as RED II/III (Renewable Energy Directive II/III).

The three parties believe that this collaboration will yield broad market benefits by promoting joint initiatives in market and technology development, as well as policy, the regulatory framework and stakeholder communication.

Jacqueline Vaessen, Acting Director of NLHydrogen, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, saying: “The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are historically main users of hydrogen in Europe, and we are facing similar challenges in producing and utilizing clean hydrogen in different sectors. Joining forces with other associations to tackle these challenges benefits the development of hydrogen market in the three countries.”

Seamless cross-border cooperation between Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany will be prioritized to maximize the impact of hydrogen initiatives on a regional scale.

Tom Hautekiet, Chairman of Belgian Hydrogen Council, said: “The import of green hydrogen from countries with enough wind, sun and space toward the European industry is an important stepstone to reach the European climate targets. Belgium and the Netherlands will be important hubs to transport hydrogen towards the German industry. This extends to harmonizing regulations and implementing shared infrastructure for import, offtake and throughput. By doing so, we can create a robust ecosystem and establish an import hub in North-West Europe. This collaborative effort will not only benefit our Belgian industry but also contribute to the prosperity of the entire region”.

The MOU outlines several key activities to be implemented within the framework of this cooperation, including information exchange, joint meetings and workshops, collaboration in events, and unified communication and promotion of outcomes.

“The Memorandum of Understanding marks a new milestone in our collective efforts towards a sustainable energy future,” added Katherina Reiche, Chairwoman of the German National Hydrogen Council. “We will leverage our expertise and resources to drive meaningful progress in the adoption and integration of hydrogen technologies. This will unlock new opportunities, accelerate technological advancements, and pave the way for a hydrogen-powered Europe.”

The signing of this MOU marks a significant step forward in the collaborative efforts of the Belgian, Dutch and German industry, universities, research institutes, and civil society to drive innovation and foster the widespread adoption of hydrogen technologies in Europe. It also sends a strong signal to the respective governments that collaboration between neighbouring Member States will be key to strengthening our hydrogen market for the future.

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