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Royal tour along hydrogen innovations
On Wednesday, His Majesty the King paid a working visit to the hydrogen cluster at Industriepark Kleefse Waard (IPKW) in Arnhem. The theme of the visit was the growing hydrogen economy and the important role that hydrogen plays in the energy transition.
Dutch supply chain
The king was received at Nedstack, which recently became the first Dutch company to receive an IPCEI subsidy for scaling up the production of fuel cells. In the production hall, the importance of hydrogen fuel cell systems was explained, which serve, for example, as a clean propulsion for ships and for the storage of sustainably generated electricity. Nedstack develops and manufactures these systems and coordinates a mostly Dutch supply chain.
The remainder of the tour was completed by hydrogen bus. During the trip around the IPKW business park, King Willem-Alexander heard more about the startups and multinationals that are working on a cleaner future there. This is done, among other things, via Connectr – Energy innovation. Connectr removes barriers between companies, governments or educational institutions in scaling up and marketing innovations. By doing so, this public-private partnership accelerates the energy transition.
Preparing technology for the market
Accelerating the energy transition is also a central theme to HyET, the first ‘bus stop’. The HyET Group is active across the entire energy chain and collaborates extensively with universities and other knowledge institutes. The goal: to further develop technology and prepare it for the market. The HyET Group currently consists of seven companies, including HyET Hydrogen.
Then it is the turn of HyGear, supplier of hydrogen to industry, filling stations and distribution centers. Here the king got an insight into the innovative approach of this hydrogen pioneer. HyGear produces hydrogen efficiently and on a small scale at the customer’s location. This avoids the transport of hydrogen by road, which saves a lot of money in terms of costs and CO2 emissions.
During the tour to the various companies, the king showed a great interest in the applications of hydrogen and the various technical inventions in the larger hydrogen chain.
After a tour to the containers in which this system is supplied, the bus drove on to Elestor. This fast-growing party develops flow batteries with hydrogen and bromine; raw materials that are almost unlimited available. Another advantage: unlike ordinary batteries, Elestor batteries can be huge. In August, the storage expert secured an investment of 30 million euros.
Last stop for the royal entourage was HyMove. HyMove develops hydrogen fuel cell systems for heavy vehicles, such as agricultural vehicles, inland vessels, trucks and buses (including the bus that the king drove around). At a test installation it was explained how such a system works.
Also at HyMove, the properties and potential of so-called Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC) were discussed. LOHC is an oil in which hydrogen can be stored and transported safely at normal pressure and temperature. In this application, the density of hydrogen during storage or transportation is at least five times higher than in the case of storage or transportation under high pressure.
Growing hydrogen economy
Together with the parties visited, the king joined a round table discussion at the end. The conversation went deeply into the role of SMEs in the energy transition, the importance of a Dutch manufacturing industry and the opportunities and challenges in the industrialization process. Part of the conversation was the urgency of a strong human capital agenda to recruit sufficient talent for the hydrogen economy.
In addition, it was about the hydrogen economy, which is experiencing significant growth worldwide. Not surprising, because hydrogen technology plays an important role in various social themes. In this way, it not only contributes to achieving climate ambitions, but also to our energy independence, sustainable economic recovery and green employment.
Here the importance of a shared ecosystem, as the king was able to see at IPKW, came across. In such an ecosystem, various companies work on their own innovations, and facilities and knowledge are shared.
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