Sustainability of mobility and infrastructure
The Northern Netherlands has the ambition to bring its mobility to zero emission and all infrastructure to a minimum of energy neutral by 2035. Sustainability can be achieved by investing in alternative fuels and (hydrogen) electric propulsion.
There are currently hydrogen pilots in all forms in the Northern Netherlands, but we want more. For example, we want to outline the possibilities of making infrastructure for fueling with sustainable fuels and to design a chain for hydrogen. We are testing with alternative fuels and electrification of transport, but that also means that we have to develop methods for absorbing fluctuations in energy supply. In addition, there is still much to be gained by researching how the use of space and mobility can be matched better. And finally, there is also a lot to be gained in limiting CO2 emissions from the infrastructure itself (low-temperature asphalt or CO2-neutral roundabouts, for example).
The main theme in 2020 for making mobility and infrastructure more sustainable is hydrogen. Hydrogen has been playing an important role in the sustainability challenge in the Northern Netherlands for several years now. Given its location by the North Sea, with a network of power cables that comes ashore at Eemshaven and pipelines for gas (for now) that start here, it is the ideal location for setting up a hydrogen economy. We are also a front runner in the mobility sector when it comes to hydrogen applications. From drones and cargo bikes to buses, trains and garbage trucks. In every modality, we now have hydrogen projects. We know better than anyone how to get from a pilot to upscaling and ultimately to a permanent part of the (mobility) system. And that is exactly what we also want to do with hydrogen.
Many of the partners of Hive.Mobility are involved in this theme. The municipality and province deploy their vehicles and public transport towards sustainability, all three knowledge institutions are researching it and have chairs or practical classes in the field of hydrogen and energy transition, and the strategic partners Arriva, Qbuzz, OV-bureau, Holthausen, Energy Expo, Century and Hitachi Capital Mobility are fully are also engaged invariants of hydrogen in the mobility sector. Check out the many examples in the “Featured projects” section.
The Northern Netherlands is the first ‘hydrogen valley’ in Europe. With the European subsidy within this so-called HEAVENN project, the unique position of the Northern Netherlands in the field of hydrogen is being recognized. Although hydrogen is mainly a good zero-emission alternative in chemistry, it is certainly also a good and already regularly used option in mobility. We have also seen, for example, that the hydrogen buses act as a catalyst to use hydrogen more often. In the heavier transport in particular (buses, trains, ships, trucks, etc.) it will become an increasingly interesting solution in the coming years, and lighter transport may benefit from this. However, it is still the case that an unprofitable threshold must be overcome. Additional funding from Europe and / or national authorities can be sought for this, as has been successfully done a few times in recent years already. In addition to HEAVENN, this could also include contributions from the FCH-JU (including JIVE), Shift2Rail, CEF and Horizon Europe. The unique position can then always be designated and identified as ‘hydrogen valley’.