With a coordinated commitment to research and innovation, the R&D programme makes a key contribution to rectifying technical uncertainties, accelerating the proposed cost reduction and developing innovative revenue models in both the supplying manufacturing industry and production and application of climate-neutral hydrogen. There are seven programme lines with a wide range of industrial, applied to basic research (TRL 2-6).
One of the main goals of GroenvermogenNL is to create a strong national innovation ecosystem around hydrogen production and utilization. This calls for an innovation program across the whole TRL-scale, stimulating short-term applied research (see also pillars Pilots and Demos) as well as long-term fundamental research (the R&D pillar).
The R&D pillar aims to bring together all relevant national expertise on hydrogen and green electrons as a basis for complex chemistry. A coordinated effort on R&D is essential not only for upscale and acceleration of hydrogen production and utilization, but also to further strengthen the collaboration between companies and knowledge institutions and stimulate new partnerships, while avoiding replication and blind spots at the national level. To this end, the R&D program focuses on seven work packages spanning a broad innovation spectrum (TRL 2-6) from industrial to applied and fundamental research. Interaction and knowledge dissemination between the work packages is strongly encouraged, and is also a key aspect of WP7.
The R&D program will contribute to resolving technical uncertainties, accelerate the intended cost reduction and develop innovative business models for climate-neutral hydrogen in the future energy system.
The seven Work Packages of the R&D pillar of GroenvermogenNL are:
Cost-efficient large-scale production of carbon-neutral hydrogen is a key element in the transition to a climate-neutral economy. Given the rapid rise and application of solar and wind energy, water electrolysis is a logical route.
So far, transport and storage of hydrogen are limited because almost all hydrogen is taken up directly as an energy carrier and feedstock in industry. With the scaling up of hydrogen production for deployment in the energy system, it is necessary to examine whether and to what extent the existing intensive transmission and distribution network for natural gas can be used in a safe and acceptable manner for the transport of hydrogen.
The current global hydrogen produced from natural gas is currently used primarily as feedstock for industrial processes, for example in oil and biomass refining and ammonia production. However, the direct use of hydrogen can also be attractive in energy-intensive industries for decarbonizing processes requiring high temperatures.
Our society relies heavily on carbon-based materials, produced almost entirely from fossil resources such as oil and natural gas. The use of renewable hydrogen, produced directly from green electrons or through the direct use of green electrons, can make many chemical conversion processes more sustainable. There are three directions to achieve this: the large-scale introduction of green hydrogen, direct use of green electrons for both heating chemical conversion processes and for carrying out large-scale electrochemical reactions.
Nitrogen is one of the most important elements in living cells and many natural compounds. Ammonia (NH3) is often used as a feedstock for the synthesis of nitrogen-containing (bioactive) compounds for the production of artificial fertilizers and sustainable plastics.
However, the production and use of ammonia and its derivatives involve high energy consumption and high CO2 emissions. This program line focuses on solutions for this major challenge.
The Dutch chemical industry derives a significant part of its turnover from chemical semi-finished products and specialties with diverse applications from automotive parts, packaging, paint and coatings to pharma, food and agro. The production of this huge variety of chemical products is currently still dependent on petrochemicals and multi-step chemical transformations.
This proces generates a lot of waste and consume a lot of energy. The main goal of this program line is to develop new chemical transformations that are cleaner and consume less raw materials and energy through the use of green hydrogen, renewable resources and direct application of green electrons.
An important question is how the role of hydrogen in the energy system might evolve, given policy, technology, economies of scale, consumer and investment behavior, and how this relates to other sustainability options and competition and cooperation with other countries. To gain more insight into this, socio-technical system models can be developed to analyze the role of hydrogen in the light of the other energy system and economic activities. It is therefore important to analyze these intersecting aspects in advance in all parts of the value chain in advance and to ensure support for technological development.