Hydrogen: sustainable energy for your company

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO

The Netherlands is working on a future with sustainable energy. Our country must be climate neutral by 2050. The government wants to use hydrogen as an energy source, among other things. Read about the possibilities of hydrogen. For example, hydrogen as a fuel in the transport sector.

What is hydrogen?

Hydrogen (chemical abbreviation: H2) is an odourless and colourless gas that does not occur in nature. It is an energy carrier that is produced. The way it is made determines how sustainable hydrogen is. It has been agreed in the Climate Agreement (Klimaatakkoord) that the Netherlands must become more sustainable. Hydrogen as an energy source could help to achieve that goal.

Difference between grey, blue and green hydrogen

The industry has been producing and using hydrogen for a long time. This is ‘grey’ hydrogen. It is made with fossil fuels. This production releases CO2. The government now wants to make the production of hydrogen more sustainable by:

  • capturing and storing CO2 that is released during the production of hydrogen with fossil fuels. This is called blue hydrogen.
  • making hydrogen with sustainable electricity, such as solar and wind energy, where no CO2 is released. This is called green hydrogen.

The intention is to use more and more blue and green hydrogen. As a raw material for industry and as a sustainable fuel.

Possibilities for using hydrogen

The government wants to further develop the production and use of sustainable hydrogen. Hydrogen has various applications:

Green hydrogen can be used as a fuel. Not only for trucks, cars, buses, and work vehicles, but also in shipping and aviation. More and more vehicles will use hydrogen as a fuel in the coming years. By 2025, there should be a network of hydrogen filling stations covering the whole of the Netherlands. Are you considering buying a hydrogen-powered car for your business? Check where to find your hydrogen refuelling stations (in Dutch) in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (Benelux).

The government is investigating if the Netherlands can use the existing natural gas network to heat buildings with hydrogen (in Dutch). Instead of natural gas, hydrogen should then flow through the network. For example, for buildings that are difficult to heat electrically or with heat networks.

The industry can use sustainable hydrogen as a raw material for chemical products. But also as a replacement for natural gas. A national hydrogen network (in Dutch) is being constructed for the transport of hydrogen to large-scale consumers. This network should help companies to switch to sustainable hydrogen.

Solar and wind energy do not always provide the same amount of energy. To compensate, hydrogen can be used to generate electricity (in Dutch). This is called flexible controllable power.

Do you want to know more about the possibilities of sustainable hydrogen? View the case studies (in Dutch) on the website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). Or search the database of the Top Sector Energy for innovative hydrogen projects (in Dutch).

Subsidies and financing for hydrogen

The government encourages research into the possibilities of sustainable hydrogen and the expansion of production. Funds are available for this purpose. Check with RVO which subsidies and schemes (in Dutch) are available for your hydrogen project. There are also other (tax) schemes and European programmes.

Certifying green hydrogen

Does your business use green hydrogen or receive subsidies for making green hydrogen? A certificate will show that the hydrogen was generated from green electricity. Read how certification works and what requirements you need to meet (in Dutch).

Safety and hydrogen

Industrial companies have a great deal of knowledge about the safety of hydrogen. They have been using it on a large scale for some time now. But outside industrial area's, the use of hydrogen is still fairly new. That is why various parties are working together on a Hydrogen Safety Innovation Programme. This programme should provide clear rules and regulations. For example, for parking hydrogen cars in parking garages.

Do you want to start a hydrogen project? Read the Guidelines for safe handling of hydrogen (in Dutch). These are temporary rules for safety in situations where there is no legislation yet. Also, view the 3 fact sheets on the safety of hydrogen (in Dutch) from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Hydrogen: working together

Do you want to collaborate with other companies on hydrogen projects? There are several network organisations:

Top Sector Energy

TKI New Gas (in Dutch) is a Top Consortium (collaboration) for knowledge and innovation within the Dutch Top Sector Energy (in Dutch). It is a network organisation with participants from the gas and industry sector, knowledge institutions and governments.


Hydrogen also offers international opportunities for companies (in Dutch). The International Clean Energy Partnership (ICEP) is committed to promoting the Dutch hydrogen sector abroad. You can also join the Platform Hydrogen International (PWI, in Dutch).

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact theNetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO