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Dutch government: ‘Hydrogen indispensable link in transition to sustainable energy system’

June 6, 2023

Importing hydrogen

It is expected that the Netherlands – in addition to its own production of hydrogen – will have to import a significant portion of the hydrogen it needs. To ensure that these imports get off the ground in a timely, sustainable, safe and large-scale manner, the government is actively pursuing energy diplomacy. Energy trade relations with a broad group of countries will contribute to security of supply.

Global hydrogen market

The cabinet wants to use energy diplomacy to drive and support the development of green hydrogen imports. By doing so, we reduce future dependencies on a relatively small group of countries, as is currently the case with oil and gas. A global hydrogen market will also help address the climate crisis by helping to accelerate the energy transition. The main pillar of the Dutch import strategy is developing the conditions to get the hydrogen market off the ground, such as import terminals, infrastructure and regulation. The government wants to get these conditions in place quickly, enabling the Netherlands to take a leading position in the Northwest European hydrogen market.

Energy Relations

The Netherlands is strengthening energy relations with both neighboring countries and countries further away that are well positioned to produce and export renewable hydrogen. The Netherlands has already entered into hydrogen collaborations with Norway, Portugal, Chile, Uruguay, Namibia, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, Spain and Saudi Arabia. Relationships with neighboring countries are becoming more important as our electricity and gas networks continue to merge. For example, the Netherlands and Germany have agreed to accelerate the development of cross-border hydrogen infrastructure.

To connect importing and exporting regions worldwide, transportation routes, called “strategic corridors,” are needed. Within Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Scandinavian countries such as Norway are promising for exports to the Netherlands. Outside Europe, the Netherlands focuses on the Gulf region, North America and Africa, among others. Energy ties with these countries are being strengthened through effective cooperation between governments and by facilitating contacts between companies to establish transportation routes. Pipelines may eventually play an important role for some transport routes, but for now most hydrogen will be transported internationally by ship.

Business opportunities and IMVO

Developments in the field of hydrogen provide opportunities for Dutch industry and knowledge institutions. They are supported in this by embassies and with trade promotion and financing instruments. In developing an international hydrogen market, the government is simultaneously committed to carefully developing equivalent energy relationships. Companies must operate within international frameworks for international corporate social responsibility (CSR). Commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, Arcadis studied the opportunities and risks involved. Importantly, production, storage and export must be done in a responsible manner with consideration for people and the environment.


The government continues to pay attention to the security of supply of energy and indispensable raw materials needed for the energy transition. For the security of gas supply, the Netherlands is mainly pulling together in an EU context and is jointly committed to strengthening relations with gas-producing countries. In doing so, the Netherlands is committed to joint gas procurement through the recently established European procurement platform. The first round recently took place, linking about 11 billion cubic meters of gas supply and demand.