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Rethinking Energy Executive Round Table Insights – The Hydrogen Transition 

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On the 11th of May, we brought together some of the brightest minds that are rethinking the future of energy. At this event, we hosted 6 roundtables where topic experts could meet and share their thoughts on a specific topic. One of these topics was the Hydrogen Transition.  

The hydrogen transition is a global movement in which on each continent three challenges need to be tackled, starting with the matching of supply, demand and sufficient transportation, followed by developing an adequate legislative framework enabling a fair process for all parties throughout the value chain and lastly ensure logistics both for the local production and delivery of hydrogen as well as imported hydrogen is well in place and in a safe and secure manner. 

A group of industry experts and stakeholders discussed the bottlenecks in the Hydrogen Transition, especially how to match supply, demand and distribution. Bart Biebuyck, at this time working for the EU’s Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, was the expert in the discussion, where Rober Jan van Vliet (nlmtd) moderated the session. Below you’ll find the key takeaways: 

  1. Hydrogen is a crucial puzzle piece in the energy transition for specific use cases where constant levels of supply of green energy cannot be guaranteed at the levels needed for the specific energy need. 
  1. Matching supply, demand and distribution of Hydrogen is one of the key challenges in Hydrogen projects. 
  1. Guaranteeing a secure supply of hydrogen is especially crucial for energy-intensive industries, such as steel manufacturers. However, current legislation restricts electrolyzers from running continuously unless the hydrogen produced is 90% green. 
  1. Only 8% of proposed hydrogen projects in Europe are currently considered bankable, highlighting the challenges in securing financing for these projects. 
  1. EU legislation is strict, constantly changing, and unpredictable. In 2030, a new law will require green electrons to be used within 1 minute of production to prevent greenwashing and false claims. 
  1. Ammonia is an alternative carrier for hydrogen storage and transportation. Seasonal storage of hydrogen is not cost-effective, but storing hydrogen in Ammonia is a more viable option due to its higher density. At the same time, safety concerns around Ammonia have been a hurdle. The conversation should shift to addressing the safe transfer of Ammonia. Risk assessment and safety measures are important considerations in the decision-making process. Not to forget, this would mean that the price of ammonia directly affects the price of hydrogen.  
  1. The Delta Rhine pipeline, from Rotterdam to Chemelot, is being explored for hydrogen transportation. Safety concerns regarding leaks in the pipeline are less of an issue since hydrogen can simply return to the air. On the other hand, the burning of hydrogen produces NOx, which ís a legislative concern. 
  1. There are discussions on whether to have multiple locations for hydrogen crackers or consolidate them into a single location. This decision has implications for infrastructure and operations. 
  1. Safety education and public awareness are essential before implementing hydrogen projects in communities. Proper education helps address concerns and mitigate resistance. Incidents related to hydrogen are often caused by negligence due to a lack of training. 
  1. Green hydrogen certification is best achieved by tracing the origin of the electrons used in its production, aligning with upcoming EU legislation. 
  1. The development of a spot market for hydrogen is in the early stages and may not materialize in the near future. 
  1. Despite the complexities of European legislation, the industry remains positive and aligned in navigating the critical phase of the hydrogen transition. 

During the Rethinking Energy event, the Hydrogen topic was one of six different topics that were discussed in a round table setting. The Hydrogen conversation triggered by far the most excitement by all attendees, as every organization has running initiatives around Hydrogen – the participants realized that collaboration across the value chain can be a huge accelerator for the Hydrogen Transition.  

Collaborative Open Innovation Program for the Hydrogen Transition 

Based on the outcomes of the discussion TNW, Beta-i and nlmtd have come together to design a “Massive Collaborative Open Innovation Program for the Hydrogen Transition” and are currently bringing together a coalition of players from across the value chain. Not only now, but for the years to come.  

A move to Hydrogen represents a fundamental shift in how we produce, consume and distribute energy – arguably the biggest transition since the industrial revolution. To make the leap, corporates must simultaneously venture together and innovate the entire value chain. Rethinking upstream and downstream relationships in a way that each stakeholder provides reciprocated value.  

We envision a corporate venture squad, where corporates, governments and startups pool their resources, knowledge, and expertise to drive innovation as an ecosystem. Where we build relationships based on trust, best practices are eagerly shared, and networks leveraged: greater impact and scale are achieved with everyone playing their part in the ecosystem.  

If you want to learn more about this program – please reach out to Arno Nijhof (, Ricardo Marvao ( or Pieter Paul van Oerle ( 

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