“Triple win” through cross-border hydrogen cooperation

Shaping the energy transition across borders – this was the motto of the first German-Dutch Hydrogen Day – the “Hydrogen Cross Border Conference” – which took place online on 5 February 2021 and was attended by around 700 people from business, science and politics.

“On both sides of the border, there are many activities on the topic of hydrogen and, especially through the INTERREG programmes, there are also already a number of joint projects. At the same time, there are still many ideas, unused potentials and, last but not least, the political will to advance the hydrogen economy,” said Birgit HonĂ©, Lower Saxony Minister for Federal and European Affairs and Regional Development and patron of the German-Dutch Hydrogen Day. “Only together can we build this important part of a new energy system,” confirmed Nienke Homan, Gedepudeerde Provincie Groningen, who pointed out the opportunities that arise for the regions from building a hydrogen economy.

Focus on new perspectives and networking opportunities

“The development of a cross-border hydrogen economy is a triple-win situation,” summed up Thorsten Herdan, Head of Department II “Energy Policy” at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy: “Industry benefits, the climate is protected and foreign economic relations are strengthened.” Examples of this were highlighted at the event during five panels in which renowned representatives from the fields of politics, science and business discussed political challenges, the prospects for the use of hydrogen in industry and mobility, and deliberated on the added value of cross-border cooperation. Concrete implementation projects were presented within the framework of a virtual trade fair. Tim Husmann, office manager of the H2 Region Emsland, is pleased about the high participation of regional hydrogen actors: “Around 30 projects from Germany and the Netherlands took the opportunity to present themselves in the virtual fair and to make new contacts via chat or virtual appointments.”

Cross-border paths not only to be discovered, but also to be followed

The organisers of the German-Dutch Hydrogen Day FME from Groningen, the H2-Region Emsland and MARIKO GmbH from Leer are more than satisfied with the organisation of the event. Matthias Groote, District Administrator in the Leer district, agrees: “The Hydrogen Cross Border Conference is another building block of the cross-border cooperation that has already been successfully lived for many years and that we want to intensively expand in the future.” There are already concrete plans for this. For example, the Hydrogen Day is to become a fixed component in the agenda of the hydrogen stakeholders, reports Leo van der Burg, Business Development Manager of the Dutch foundation FME. In addition, various other events, innovation and cooperation projects and a networking app – the H2-V/Finder – are in preparation, explains Katja Baumann, Managing Director of MARIKO GmbH: “We want to leverage cross-sector synergies and not only discover common paths, but also walk them! The organisation of a cross-border hydrogen day was definitely an important first step.” The “Hydrogen Cross Border Conference” was supported by the “Lower Saxony Ministry for Federal and European Affairs and Regional Development” and the Dutch initiative “NLinBusiness”.

DOWNLOAD of the conference summary and presentations

More information on Hydrogen Cross Border can be found at www.hydrogen-cross-border.eu.