Governments around the world are increasingly feeling the heat and are enacting ‘Net Zero’ emissions targets. The sense of urgency only seems to have been heightened by the pandemic. As part of its European Green Deal agenda, the European Union for example is targeting 55% emissions reductions by 2030 and net zero emissions (which will be enshrined by law) by 2050.
These targets are highly ambitious. Just phasing out fossil fuels and installing renewable energy like wind and solar will still leave us far away from reaching these goals, as the International Energy Agency has argued. Indeed, both the IEA and EU believe developing the hydrogen economy is critical to reaching Net Zero.
In our discussion with Professor Wijk we delve into why hydrogen holds so much promise for decarbonization, and why the Northern Netherlands is shaping up to be a strategic hub for the hydrogen economy and could become a role model region for other parts of the world. Due to its existing highly developed natural gas industry, the region already has the knowledge, infrastructure and industry off-takers to transition to the hydrogen economy relatively easily. It will also benefit from being connected to large future supplies of electricity from Norwegian hydro resources and Dutch and offshore wind farms.
Of course, there still major challenges to developing the hydrogen economy, with the most important being the cost of production. As we go into in greater depth, to overcome this will require large-scale infrastructure investment to bring down the cost of production, storage, and distribution via economies of scale.
Hear the full interview here:
If you would like to find out more about Professor Wijk’s work you can read his blog or find him on LinkedIn.
Dr. Indranil Ghosh