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Utrecht embraces green hydrogen for heavy transport

Banner zero-emission with green hydrogen

Green hydrogen is on the rise, and an Utrecht and European project for green hydrogen is also underway in Nieuwegein, Utrecht. Green hydrogen has enormous potential for making heavy transport - including transport by water - more sustainable in the near future. LIFE NEW HYTS stands for ReNewable Green Hydrogen for Transport and is funded by the LIFE programme from Brussels.

What it takes is guts

Is the breakthrough of hydrogen at an impasse? Not if it were up to the initiators of LIFE NEW HYTS. Just starting out and guts, that's what's needed. Guts from The Hague, guts from Europe and guts from the entrepreneurs, said Jörg Gigler of TKI Urban Energy at the kick-off. LIFE NEW HYTS is a collaborative project between KWR, the Province of Utrecht, Hysolar, Stamhuis, Van Heezik, Van den Heerik's Internationaal Transportbedrijf B.V. and Jos Scholman Beheer B.V. This combination of knowledge, expertise, entrepreneurship and administrative coordination is putting its shoulder to the wheel to set up the chain of local production, distribution and application in Nieuwegein. A 9 MWP solar field (good for the electricity for 3,000 households) supplies the green energy for the 2.5 Megawatt electrolyser that will be built in 2023. The produced hydrogen is transported in a pipeline to the public filling station of Jos Scholman. There, trucks and buses can refuel at a pressure of 350 bar and passenger cars at 700 bar. The transporters do not wait and buy trucks and power cars. The first hydrogen powered crane truck is a first! Hydrogen production follows demand and rises to 250 tonnes per year within a few years. Good for the daily use of 750 passenger cars or 25 buses.

Transport hub in the middle of the country

Reducing CO2, building 160,000 houses, preventing overloading of the grid and providing cleaner air. These are no small tasks facing Utrecht, according to provincial executive Arne Schaddelee. Thanks to its central location, Utrecht is a transport hub. Many travellers, many professionals and many goods pass through the province by road and by water. LIFE NEW HYTS focuses on making heavy transport more sustainable, for which storing energy in batteries is still a major challenge. Hydrogen does not have that limitation, it can be refilled. A full tank of hydrogen can be achieved within five minutes. Running heavy equipment and transport on green hydrogen will make a significant contribution to reducing CO2. In the LIFE NEW HYTS project, the annual saving is two million litres of diesel. With this project, Utrecht as a province can contribute to the realisation of 10% of the national CO2 reduction ambition of the Climate Agreement. A consortium of trainers in the transport sector, including Innovam, is providing the training for automotive technicians for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Think global, act local

LIFE NEW HYTS is a demonstration project that provides the province of Nieuwegein with valuable data on the use and costs of green hydrogen. It provides practical support for the accelerated introduction of green hydrogen in (heavy) transport. The Province of Utrecht is expanding Waterstof Utrecht, the hydrogen covenant for the transport sector, under this project. More than 110 parties have already signed up to this agreement. There is also cooperation with the Bruges region in Belgium and North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.