Northern Netherlands Region

The Northern Netherlands area has long focused on the development of the hydrogen economy – not just because of its history as an area closely associated with natural gas production, but also because of it being the landing point for (offshore) green electricity and existing demand. 


This opportunity for the Northern Netherlands area was elaborated on in 2017 by Prof Ad van Wijk in the publication entitled ‘The green hydrogen economy of the Northern Netherlands’. By establishing a portfolio of specific hydrogen projects, the region became the only region in Europe to be given the title ‘Hydrogen Valley’ in 2020. At the end of the same year, this regional collaboration gave rise to a regional investment plan for hydrogen. 

The plans have, however, entered a period of stagnation due to a lack of well-trained personnel. With this in mind, several human capital projects for hydrogen have been set up and implemented across the region in recent years. Thanks to the HCA GroenvermogenNL, these have now been bundled together so that they can be more effectively coordinated. 


To remain connected to ongoing initiatives, the Northern Netherlands has opted to work with a team that together fulfils the liaison role in the first phase. 


The aim is multi-faceted: Continuous development and connection of HCA initiatives that have already been started, identification of gaps in priorities – substantively and geographically – and creation of a common and supported roadmap.


By making a national connection with the five other regions, we can:

  • Determine whether initiatives and products present at regional level can be utilised nationally.
  • Determine whether regional needs can be satisfied with national products.
  • Determine which regional needs require new activities.

Approach and actions

We will map the current and future labour market concerns in relation to hydrogen in the northern region. We will do this by working with focus groups working on specific priorities. The findings that come out of this will be tested against the environment.

  • Regional application-related priorities and framework conditions:
  • Industry (including hydrogen production and use of chemistry for greening).



  • Storage, transport, distribution and infrastructure.
  • Heat and power, built-up environment.
  • Priorities within the boundary conditions:
  • Safety, maintenance strategies and licence awarding.
  • Design of hydrogen systems.
  • Materials, resources and water.



The liaison team seeks to ensure as much connectivity with existing HCA projects as possible, but also to cover the regional spread.

These are the team members:

  • Marcel Koenis, Business Development Director at EnTranCe;
  • Harm van Lieshout, Lecturer in Human Capital at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen and link to the LLO Katalysator;
  • Hielke Hekman, Human Capital specialist at the New Energy Coalition and link to ‘Hydrogen Works’;
  • Roeland Hogt, Practor for Automotive Noorderpoort and topic coordinator for hydrogen in RIF GAS2.0;
  • Willem Hazenberg, Practor for Hydrogen in Industry at Drenthe College;
  • Jeroen Rijnhart, Director of the Centre of Expertise Water (Leeuwarden), NHL Stenden.