Collaboration Between the United States and the Netherlands Focuses on Hydrogen Technology

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy’s Directorate General for Climate and Energy issued a statement of intent (SOI) to collaborate on collecting, analyzing, and sharing information on hydrogen production and infrastructure technologies. Through this effort, real-world data from hydrogen applications will be gathered to guide both organizations’ future hydrogen research and development (R&D) and demonstration activities.

As part of this SOI, EERE and DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) will leverage technical expertise and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities at DOE’s National Labs to validate the performance and durability of electrolyzers, which produce renewable hydrogen using water and electricity. An additional focus area will cover lessons learned and harmonization of safety, codes and standards in emerging areas like hydrogen and natural gas blending.

“This partnership will help address key hydrogen R&D areas, pave the way for at-scale hydrogen demonstrations, and foster new national, regional, and worldwide hydrogen value chains,” said EERE’s Assistant Secretary Daniel R Simmons. “As EERE supported hydrogen and fuel cell technologies continue to gather momentum, we, as well as DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions, are pleased to be spearheading this collaboration.”

Eric Wiebes, the Netherlands’ Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, sent a letter to the Dutch Parliament in March 2020 and advocated for an active international policy to reduce sustainable hydrogen costs and to create new international partnerships.

Sandor Gaastra, the Director General for Climate and Energy, said, “This new strategic cooperation between the U.S. and the Netherlands on hydrogen will foster cooperation between Dutch and American practitioners in hydrogen research, industrial demonstrations to scale-up, regions and ports, innovative small and medium enterprises, and start-ups. Together with our excellent partners in the U.S. and at DOE, our objectives are to boost necessary cost reductions for producers and consumers and to create first mover and job opportunities in new hydrogen value chains. I foresee a growth model, starting now with a focus on aligning necessary innovations in offshore wind, electrolyzer systems, and new industrial demand; in the future, other important sectors may be included in our mutually beneficial cooperation efforts.”

“When OTT first sat down with the Dutch delegation at last year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit in The Hague, both sides immediately identified hydrogen as a critical collaboration opportunity between our two countries,” said DOE Chief Commercialization Officer and OTT Director Conner Prochaska. “Expanding on this already successful partnership will help us fulfill our commercialization objectives in the hydrogen economy and at our National Labs while further strengthening this unique and productive relationship.”

Today’s announcement supports DOE’s comprehensive energy strategy and commitment to energy innovation through international collaboration. The United States’ and the Netherlands’ activities under this cooperation will be coordinated through existing global hydrogen partnerships in which both countries participate, including the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE), the International Energy Agency, Mission Innovation, the Clean Energy Ministerial, and the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial.

 “This marks another milestone in the long-standing collaboration we have with the Netherlands through the IPHE, and other global partnerships, to collectively address technical challenges and accelerate progress in hydrogen,” said Dr. Sunita Satyapal, director of EERE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

Noé van Hulst, former Hydrogen Envoy of the Netherlands, expressed his enthusiasm: “It was a great process to elaborate on this new cooperation and to formalize it through this statement of intent. This is an example of how we want other partnerships to be targeted on cost reductions and pragmatic innovation by practitioners in both countries.” He continued, adding, “This joint announcement leverages activities already underway through collaborations such as the IPHE, including student and postdoc fellowships to focus on key areas of bilateral interest."