Country: The Netherlands

Document type: National Strategy

Title: Government Strategy on Hydrogen

Released: April 2020

Summary Points:

  • The Strategy was presented in early April 2020 by means of a Letter addressed to the Dutch House of Representatives. At the same time (end March 2020) Letters were also addressed to the House of Representatives on The Role of Gas In the Energy System Today and in the Future and the Roadmap Green Gas (the latter specifically outlining efforts to develop CO2-free gases).
  • The Strategy is in line with the ambitions for hydrogen contained in the Dutch National Climate Agreement (June 2019) and a research report on Hydrogen for the Energy Transition by TKI Nieuw Gas (January 2020)
    • The Climate Agreement includes an ambition to scale-up installed electrolysis capacity to around 500 MW by 2025 and 3-4 GW by 2030
  • The Strategy highlights the importance of developing large-scale hydrogen infrastructure, specifically the importance of the Netherlands maintaining its current hub functions (e.g., the Port of Rotterdam) in international energy flows.
  • Development of hydrogen industry clusters (around areas where demand for hydrogen already exists) is seen as an efficient means to accelerate industry scale-up (and support reductions in clean hydrogen production costs)
  • The Policy Agenda is based around four Pillars.
    • Legislation and regulation – covers use of the existing gas grid, market regulation and temporary tasks for network operators, guarantees of origin and certification, safety, and infrastructure coordination.
    • Cost reduction and scaling up green hydrogen – covers support schemes for research, pilot and larger-scale projects (including through temporary operating cost support and support through the SDE++), linking hydrogen to offshore wind energy, blending obligations (the Strategy notes 2% is already achievable in the gas grid, and with further adjustment, this could be raised to 10-20%)
    • Sustainability of final consumption – covers ports and industry clusters and importance of such to support scale-up, hydrogen (including synthetic fuels) and zero emissions polices for transport, and options for use of hydrogen in the electricity sector.
    • Supporting policies – covers the Netherlands international (principally Europe) strategy, regional policy and research and innovation.

On 14 December 2020, the European Commission approved, under EU State aid rules, a €30 billion Dutch scheme (Stimulering Duurzame Energieproductie – “SDE++”) to support projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands. The SDE++ scheme will provide support to environmentally friendly projects, including renewable energy, use of waste heat, hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage, in line with EU rules and consistent with the objectives of the European Green Deal. The Commission assessed the scheme under EU State aid rules, in particular the 2014 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy.

In December 2021, the national advisory committee for ElectroChemical Conversion & Materials (ECCM) presented the advice “ECCM National Agenda – A Dutch Research, Development & Innovation Agenda for a CO2-neutral industry based on renewable energy” to the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate.  The committee structured its recommendations in the ECCM National Agenda along four interwoven lines of action:

  1. Demonstration projects for green hydrogen – to meet the 2030 targets.
  2. Next generation of electroconversion – to meet the 2050 targets.
  3. Collaboration with the manufacturing industry – to build a green Dutch economy.
  4. Development of an ECCM human capital – to accelerate the implementation of innovation.

On 29 June 2022, in a Letter to Parliament, the Minister for Climate and Energy announced the Dutch Cabinet had set aside €750 million for the development of a national transmission network for hydrogen. Gasunie is to develop the hydrogen network in the Netherlands in the coming years, after which it will assume the role of Transmission System Operator. Gasunie is to also play an important role in the storage and import of hydrogen. In a coincidental but separate Letter to Parliament, the Minister informed the House of Representatives about the progress of the policy aimed at the organisation and development of the hydrogen market, as well as discussing several parliamentary motions on this subject. A summary of key points in these Letters can be found here.

In October 2022, it was reported that eight Dutch companies are qualified to receive a total of €784 million of state aid approved by the European Commission in September 2022 as part of its Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) Hy2Use programme. In December 2022, it was reported that the Dutch Government had cleared national subsidies of the above amount.

In January 2023, RWE’s FUREC project, which aims to produce circular and green hydrogen from non-recyclable municipal solid waste in Limburg, the Netherlands, received a €108 million grant from the EU Innovation Fund.

In March 2023, the Dutch Government announced that in the wind energy area North of the Wadden Islands, the Netherlands is planning large-scale hydrogen production at sea. The wind farm would account for approximately 500 MW of electrolysis capacity and is expected to be operational around 2031. The announcement noted this project would be the first project to connect to Gasunie’s offshore hydrogen transport network, and as a stepping stone to this project, a smaller pilot with an electrolysis capacity of approximately 50-100 MW is also being worked on.

In April 2023, in a Letter to Parliament, the Minister for Climate and Energy informed the House of Representatives about the Spring Decision-making on additional climate measures (specific measures are included in tabular form in an attachment to the Letter, Draft Multi-Annual Programme Climate Fund 2024).  Specific hydrogen-related measures of around €7.5 billion (with conditions) include:

  • Electrolysis: onshore: 50 MW – €249.9 million
  • Electrolysis: onshore: 500–1,000 MW – €4,900 million
  • Electrolysis: offshore: less than or equal to 100 MW (CAPEX) – €380 million
  • Electrolysis: offshore: 500 MW (CAPEX + OPEX) – €1,400 million
  • H2Global: import of green hydrogen: €300 million
  • De-risk large-scale hydrogen storage: €250 million

In April 2023, media reports indicated that the Dutch Government plans to host an auction to import green hydrogen or its derivatives at end 2023/early 2024, involving €300 million of subsidies. The tender would be held through Germany’s existing H2Global auction platform (with implementation depending on approval of the Dutch Parliament and state aid approval from the European Commission).

In June 2023, media reports, citing a Letter to the Dutch Parliament by the Minister for Climate and Energy Policy, indicated the Dutch Government will tender €1 billion from its Climate Fund for large-scale green hydrogen projects in 2024. The media reports indicate the Letter also includes an ambition for 8 GW of installed electrolyser capacity by 2032 (existing target of up to 4 GW by 2030). This planned €1 billion tender is separate to the planned €300 million Dutch H2Global auction for imports to be held late 2023/early2024.

In June 2023, Gasunie announced it had taken the investment decision for construction of the first part of a national hydrogen network, with the investment of this first section exceeding €100 million. The nationwide hydrogen network is expected to cost around €1.5 billion and would connect major industrial regions in the Netherlands and surrounding countries, such as Germany and Belgium, from 2030 onwards (as well as connections to import terminals at seaports).

In July 2023, the EC approved, under EU State aid rules, a €246 million Dutch scheme to support the construction of at least 60 MW of electrolysis capacity. The aid is to be awarded through a competitive bidding process planned to be concluded in 2023. The scheme is intended to contribute to the Netherlands’s efforts to achieve 500 MW of electrolyser capacity in 2025 and 3-4 GW by 2030.

In September 2023, the Dutch Government announced a hydrogen in mobility subsidy scheme consultation, with the scheme including an allocation to €125 million to support the transition to hydrogen powered vehicles, with a focus on heavy logistics vehicles. The subsidy scheme is expected to be in place over 2024-2028 and will apply to developments which incorporate both hydrogen refuelling stations and provision of associated vehicles.

In October 2023, the Dutch Government launched a scheme (for an amount of almost €250 million) for scaling up fully renewable hydrogen production via electrolysis (OWE subsidy scheme).  It is hoped the scheme could help realize 5 to 10 smaller projects throughout the country. Only projects up to 50 MW are eligible for the scheme. Awards are anticipated to be announced in early 2024 and projects having until 2028 to be realised (with option for a one-year postponement in case of realisation delay).

In March 2024, a new application round under the OWE frame was published – the subsidy scheme for large-scale production of fully renewable hydrogen via electrolysis. The total budget is slightly in excess of €998 million and there is no maximum upper limit on MW capacity that can be applied for. The realisation phase for the project is five years (with option for a two-year postponement in case of realisation delay).


Updated: April 2024