All eyes will be on Rotterdam in March 2022 when the city will host its first-ever global hydrogen summit and exhibition. The Dutch region, which is home to Europe’s largest port, has its sights set on becoming a hydrogen hub, at least that is the intention set out in the country’s energy strategy. The Dutch government sees the international trade in hydrogen gas as a great opportunity – assuming that a pan-European pipeline project doesn’t get in the way.
Rotterdam is not only the largest port in Europe, it is playing a key role in the German hydrogen strategy. Stijn van Els has been working since January 2020 as director of commercial delivery at the port, which belongs 70 percent to the municipality of Rotterdam and 30 percent to the Netherlands. After studying at a German Hochschule, van Els studied physics in Delft and then started as an engineer at Shell. He’s been working around the world for 30 -years and in Hamburg as head of Shell Germany. H2-international spoke with him about the role of the port for the European hydrogen economy.
Germany is experiencing a further ramp-up of hydrogen filling stations. On July 31, two new ones started serving customers in Sindelfingen at the A81 freeway and in Pforzheim at the A8. The former, a Shell station southwest of Stuttgart, is in direct vicinity of the Daimler factory that houses the carmaker’s R&D facilities on fuel cell technologies. Stijn van Els, chair of the German Shell companies, said: “Hydrogen is a promising technological field. We expect this alternative engine fuel to play an increasingly stronger role in markets such as Germany, the Benelux countries, the UK and the US from the 2020s on.”
This March, Shell presented a new study carried out in collaboration with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Focusing on transportation, the authors compared several different production pathways for hydrogen and took a closer look at the three regions spearheading global development: Germany, Japan and the United States. Jörg Adolf, who headed the project at Shell, said that hydrogen technology had made big advances over the past years, “not just in car use.”