How can hydrogen be used more in horticulture? There's demand and there are possibilities, and to connect these, on April 5th 2019 there was a well-attended knowledge session about the possibilities of applying hydrogen in greenhouse horticulture. This knowledge session was organized for the partners of the Greenport Energy Agreement at the TU Campus in Delft. There were around 30 people attending.
During the event, the application of hydrogen was discussed from three perspectives.
René Schutte of Gasunie outlined the role that hydrogen can play in a future energy mix. That was not a theoretical story: after an introduction about the place in sustainability ambitions and the development of the demand for hydrogen, Schutte outlined the developments that are taking place in the construction of a main hydrogen infrastructure in the Netherlands and zoomed in on concrete projects in the northern Netherlands as an example of application. Not yet for horticulture, but as an illustration of the way in which hydrogen can be used.
Rob van der Pol of Zantingh BV brought the subject directly into the boiler room of the companies by zooming in on installation technology that is involved in the application of hydrogen and all aspects that are part of such a transition. Among other things, the focus was on burner technology, changes in emissions and the (side) effects of blending or total replacement. It provided a clear overview of the issues that the companies are confronted with, but Van der Pol also addressed the question why we should want to use hydrogen, and in which time frame the different forms of application can become concrete.
Chris Hellinga of TU Delft was the third speaker. His story explored the idea of deploying a hydrogen infrastructure in South Holland that connects to the main infrastructure that René Schutte spoke about earlier, and outlined the development of a pilot project for the application of hydrogen at the A12 motorway in Bleiswijk as part of the so-called A12 Energy Hub. Especially the combination of wind energy and heat pumps and direct conversion of wind energy via electricity into hydrogen seems to have a lot of potential here, because it fits in well with the variation in the use throughout the year.
The last speaker, Wouter Groenen with the province of South Holland reflected on the contributions. He opened with a video that looked back at a conference on hydrogen applications at the European Commission and in which energy representative Han Weber of South Holland (also chairman of the Steering Group for the Energy Agreement) emphasized the importance of development. Wouter Groenen complimented the organization for placing this subject on the agenda for greenhouse horticulture and the quality of the introductions. He indicated that the outlined developments are fully in line with the ambitions of the province.
Read more here at Greenport West-Holland (in Dutch) about the rest of the program, including a tour of Green Village and the signing of the Energy Agreement by 13 new partners.