mei 19, 2024

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Pilot waterstofverwarming in Nederland krijgt na een jaar uitstel groen licht

Pilot waterstofverwarming in Nederland krijgt na een jaar uitstel groen licht

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A project to heat Dutch homes with green hydrogen has been given the final greenlight from the Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) after a year of delay.

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Gas distributor Rendo was given permission to distribute hydrogen to up to 18 homes in the Erflanden district of the town of Hoogeveen, in the north of the country, and a maximum of 100 yet-to-be-built homes in a new housing development called Nijstad-Oost, just outside the town.

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A hydrogen pipeline network has already been built in Erflanden, with the first 12 homes already retrofitted to run on H2 — with natural-gas stoves replaced with electric induction hobs, hydrogen boilers and hybrid heat pumps that can switch between providing heat via the boiler and an electric heat pump.

The ACM was originally scheduled to make its decision on the hydrogen heating project, Hydrogen Hoogeveen, last year, with Rendo planning to switch the first households to H2 in the summer of 2023. However, it had not given its permission that spring, with further delay due to a rule that conversions cannot take place during the winter period — ie, 1 October to 1 April.

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The first 12 homes are now due to be fully connected to the new hydrogen network this summer.

“The new-build homes [in Nijstad-Oost] Moet nog gebouwd worden en wordt binnenkort opgeleverd met waterstofaansluiting”, aldus ACM. “Deze nieuwbouwwoningen hebben geen aardgasnetwerk.”

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It will be the third hydrogen heating pilot in the Netherlands, and the first for new homes.

Twelve homes in Lochem, 75km to the south of Hoogeveen, have been heated with H2 for more than a year, while 33 homes in the village of Wagenborgen in the country’s far northeast have also been switched to hydrogen.

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A demonstration “Hydrogen Tiny House” — a 3.45-by-11.95-metre room on wheels featuring a prototype H2 boiler — which has been standing on the edge of Erflanden since 2021 and will be the first property connected to the hydrogen grid.

German refuelling station operator Westfalen will supply green hydrogen for use in these homes.

The hydrogen conversion project was partly financed through Heavenn, an EU-backed Dutch initiative to demonstrate H2 production, distribution, storage and end use in clusters.

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The Dutch government has pledged to phase out natural gas heating by 2050 in all households. From 2026, it will not be possible to buy new natural-gas boilers in the Netherlands, with the state offering to subsidise 30% of the purchase price of an electric or hybrid heat pump.

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Around 150,000 heat pumps had already been sold in the country by the end of last year.

The use of green hydrogen in domestic heating has been strongly criticised as an extremely expensive and an inefficient use of renewable electricity, compared to direct use in electric heat pumps.

And because H2 is the smallest molecule in existence and highly flammable, critics have also raised the alarm that using it in domestic heating could put the public at risk.

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