The Netherlands signs a memorandum of understanding with the United Arab Emirates to set up clean hydrogen export and import corridors
Mark Harbers, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands. Photo provided
The United Arab Emirates could be one of the biggest suppliers of hydrogen to the European market as countries seek renewable energy sources to reduce carbon emissions and tackle global warming, a Dutch minister has said.
Speaking to the Khaleej Times at Expo 2020, Mark Harbers, Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands, said: “The Port of Rotterdam is looking for a project where hydrogen or ammonia could easily be shipped to Rotterdam for distribution in other countries. And the UAE would be one of the biggest suppliers in the future, I guess. »
“You have more sun than us. So it could be a fantastic business opportunity for companies based here to sell their hydrogen in the Netherlands in the future,” he said.
If production is increased using solar or wind power, the minister said that is the “true green hydrogen we are looking at”.
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to work together to establish clean hydrogen export and import corridors between the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands as a gateway to the Europe. Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates and Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Hydrogen Energy at the Dutch Pavilion of the Expo 2020. The two ministers underlined the importance of clean hydrogen, in particular green hydrogen from renewable sources to contribute to their country’s emission reduction policy.
Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam, said the excellent local conditions in the UAE, such as sunshine, space availability and investment climate, can lead to a very competitive hydrogen product delivered on the North West European market.
“This new energy from the Middle East, distributed through Rotterdam’s hydrogen terminals and backbone, could further contribute to decarbonizing European industries and society as a whole.”
The Netherlands released its national hydrogen strategy in 2020 and the government recently proposed a €35 billion climate transition fund, of which €15 billion is earmarked for advanced renewables, including green hydrogen.
Similarly, the United Arab Emirates, which has committed to net zero emissions by 2050, recognizes that hydrogen production supports the country’s diversification plans and enables the production of lower carbon export products. to maintain its economic position. This switch to green energy could contribute significantly to the achievement of climate goals as stipulated in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Hydrogen gas has long been recognized as an alternative to fossil fuels and as a potentially valuable tool in the fight against climate change. In a hydrogen economy, hydrogen would be used in place of fossil fuels which currently provide four-fifths of the world’s energy supply emitting most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, among others, the Europe will need to import green hydrogen to reach its net-zero target by 2050.
Al Mazrouei said partnerships between the UAE and the Netherlands will help “catalyze the transition to hydrogen energy”.
He said this will help move closer to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and help open up opportunities for growth and development, diversify the energy mix and rely on clean energy. by establishing concrete partnerships and strengthening cooperation between the two friendly countries. countries.