The Northern Netherlands is the first region to receive a subsidy for their so-called Hydrogen Valley. The Northen Netherlands’ subsidy application for a Hydrogen Valley has been approved by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership). This Joint Undertaking receives support from the of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research. It concerns a subsidy of 20 million euros with a public-private cofunding of 70-80 million euros.  This subsidy is intended for the development of a fully functioning green hydrogen chain in the Northern Netherlands. The six-year programme – called HEAVENN – started in January 2020.

HEAVENN is a large-scale programme of demo projects bringing together core elements: production, distribution, storage and local end-use of hydrogen (H2) into a fully-integrated and functioning “H2 valley” (H2V), that can serve as a blueprint for replication across Europe and beyond. The concept is based on the deployment and integration of existing and planned project clusters across six locations in the Northern Netherlands, namely Eemshaven, Delfzijl, Zuidwending, Emmen, Hoogeveen and Groningen.

The main goal is to make use of green hydrogen across the entire value chain, while developing replicable business models for wide-scale commercial deployment of H2 across the entire regional energy system. HEAVENN aims to maximise the integration of abundant renewable energy sources available in the region, both onshore (wind and solar) and offshore wind, using H2 as:

  • a storage medium to manage intermittent and constrained renewable inputs in
    the electricity grid; and
  • an energy vector for further integration of renewable inputs and
    decarbonisation across other energy sectors beyond electricity, namely industry,
    heat and transportation.

The programme facilitates the deployment of a variety of H2 fuel cell end-user applications across the project clusters, while ensuring the interconnection between them. This will be delivered by facilitating the deployment of key transport and distribution gas infrastructure to deliver green H2 from supply to the end-user sites. In this way HEAVENN will demonstrate the coupling of existing electricity and gas infrastructures at scale, to decarbonise industry, power, transport and heat across the entire region. The scale of the deployment delivered by HEAVENN is sufficient to achieve by itself significant economies of scale and improved business models across the entire value chain.