Collaborating on hydrogen in agribusiness
On July 15, 2021, the ‘H2 in Agri Deal’ was signed into law. With this, Development Company Noord-Holland Noord (ONHN), New Energy Coalition (NEC) and Greenport Noord-Holland Noord (GPNHN) want to further expand their cooperation. In this way to shape energy transition within the NHN region, and in particular to position North-Holland North as a testbed for hydrogen chains in the agribusiness.
The collective wants to focus on the development of pilots and practical applications of hydrogen in agribusiness in North Holland North. So that knowledge about the application possibilities is increased and the basis is laid for a hydrogen chain.
Regiodeal Maritiem Cluster Kop van Noord-Holland as base
The regional deal is aimed at realizing a hydrogen economy in the North Holland North region. The agribusiness has come into the picture as a sector where there are opportunities for both the generation and application of hydrogen. For example, it can serve as a replacement for diesel in tractors and heavy transport, take over the role of natural gas and remove bottlenecks in the electricity network. In addition, when solar and wind energy are overproduced, this energy can be used to produce hydrogen. To enable temporary storage of energy. In this way, peaks and troughs in the generation and consumption of energy are better absorbed. Ontwikkelingsbedrijf, New Energy Coalition and Greenport want to work together to make these possibilities concrete for entrepreneurs.
Hydrogen applications require new responses
While entrepreneurs now see hydrogen as an interesting alternative, they are looking for certainty, knowledge and experience before they want to step in. There is as yet no infrastructure for supplying hydrogen, there is virtually no practical knowledge in agribusiness and the supply of machines that can run on hydrogen is still limited. By organizing and conducting practical research and pilots, in which practical experience and knowledge is gained, Ontwikkelingsbedrijf, New Energy Coalition and Greenport want to accelerate the introduction of hydrogen in agribusiness. From their own areas of expertise and networks, they are looking for valuable partners for this.
First project: hydrogen mill (Hygro) and hydrogen tractor (EOX)
An example project the consortium is now working on is realizing a pilot of hydrogen production to use in tractors on land. This involves using Hygro’s hydrogen mill (at the TNO test site in Wieringermeer) to generate hydrogen locally. This hydrogen is sold via Avia-Marees and used in H2Trac’s EOX tractor. Payroll company Sturm-Jacobs and agricultural research center Vertify are in the picture to test the application of the tractor in practice.
North Holland North as a test bed for H2 in Agri
After the start of the pilot project, ONHN, New Energy Coalition and GPNHN want to continue. Jeroen Noot, program manager of Greenport NHN: “The agribusiness in North Holland North is extremely innovative, and a leading position in the application of hydrogen is a perfect fit. We already see many entrepreneurs eager to get started with hydrogen. However, an integral approach is necessary: the infrastructure and regulations must be in order, entrepreneurs must have knowledge and experience and certainty about the reliability of the machines and supply. Moreover, it is also important to have personnel available who can maintain the new machines and infrastructure. With the cooperation with Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Noord-Holland Noord and New Energy Coalition, we can organize this. We combine the necessary knowledge and networks to together establish the region as a testbed for applications of hydrogen in agribusiness, and to accelerate the energy transition within this sector.”