Montel Magazine 4 - 2020 - Page 19

Netherlands may have hydrogen exchange by 2027

The Netherlands could have a hydrogen exchange in place by 2027 , boosting the trading of the potentially green fuel . By Richard Sverrisson
The country ’ s gas TSO Gasunie and four port authorities are studying the practical design of a bourse on which contracts for climateneutral hydrogen could be traded .
“ This is an important opportunity we have in the Netherlands and beyond . Because we have important harbours , we have an important gas infrastructure that can be partly converted to
hydrogen ,” says Bert den Ouden , managing director for energy at consultancy Berenschot , on the Montel Weekly Podcast . The Netherlands has “ pipelines , streets , in which several highpressure pipelines are running together in parallel . So it is relatively easy to convert only one of [ the pipelines ],” he adds .
Den Ouden has a long career in wholesale energy markets , joining Amsterdambased bourse APX in 1999 and steering the company through a series of acquisitions , including the purchase of exchanges in the UK and the Benelux region . He also oversaw the launch of the trilateral market coupling between the Dutch , Belgian and French markets in 2006 ,
and the subsequent linking with the German market in 2010 and the Nordic and British markets in 2011 .
The plans for the hydrogen bourse are different from “ anything else I have done before ”, Den Ouden says . “ In one fundamental way , this market is very different . The Dutch minister [ Eric Wiebes ] said it to me . He said : You have the audacity to launch a plan for an exchange between demand which is yet to come in , and supply which is yet to be established .”
The plan is part of the country ’ s Hyway27 project , which aims to determine how existing gas infrastructure can be used for hydrogen transport
and storage . The name says it all , according to Den Ouden . “ But we don ’ t want to wait with the exchange until 2027 . That ’ s why we are also involving the harbours ,” he says referring to Groningen , Amsterdam , Rotterdam and the North Sea Port . “ Each of them , together with the industry in those parts , have far-reaching plans [ for ] hydrogen . And they ’ re coming online earlier .”
The European Commission published a strategy this summer to scale up the technology . It plans to subsidise the development of 40 GW of electrolysis capacity this decade – facilities that can create the clean-burning fuel synthetically with renewable energy .
“ I can see this becoming a global market as the world is looking into the hydrogen case . However , a lot needs to happen first ”
its Eemshaven station in the Netherlands with a direct link to the 170 MW Westereems onshore wind farm . The utility is also assessing whether it ’ s feasible to import hydrogen via ships into the planned German LNG terminal in Brunsbuttel . “ We certainly see scope for global trade in hydrogen ,” the spokeswoman says .
Among others , BP and Orsted recently agreed to jointly develop a renewable hydrogen project at the former ’ s Lingen refinery in Germany , using power from the latter ’ s offshore wind farm . Meanwhile , the Dutch port of Rotterdam and Icelandic power company Landsvirkjun are studying the possibility of shipping green hydrogen from Iceland to the Netherlands .
“ We expect hydrogen to take on the position oil has today , as an energy carrier as well as feedstock for the industry ,” says Allard Castelein , chief executive of the Port of Rotterdam Authority . Indeed , tentative steps to establish global hydrogen trading routes are underway . Australia has signed a flurry of hydrogen cooperation agreements with countries including Germany , South Korea and Japan , laying the foundation for potential export routes . The European Commission has earmarked Ukraine and Morocco as some of Europe ’ s first partners for hydrogen trading .
Is it too early to get involved ? Many energy traders think not . “ There ’ s a huge amount of interest in how we design the market , how we set the market up . We are hopeful that we ’ ll at least manage to establish a common structure that facilitates cross-border trading ,” says Efet ’ s Wood .
A liquid market with a high number of market participants , low entry barriers and a clearing house willing to screen hydrogen trades are some of the requirements for taking part in hydrogen trading , according to a Dutch-based energy trading manager . “ I can see this becoming a global market as the world is looking into the hydrogen case . However , a lot needs to happen first .” n
Montel Magazine 4 – 2020