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    Dutch TSO welcomes cabinet's budget proposals


Carbon capture and storage, a hydrogen network and district heating have all been promised money

by: William Powell

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Premium, Political, News By Country, Netherlands

Dutch TSO welcomes cabinet's budget proposals

Dutch gas transmission system operator Gasunie said it welcomed the proposals for energy infrastructure that the Dutch cabinet presented September 21 following the King's Speech on the state budget.

Gasunie said it "give a positive impulse to the energy transition," although at least some of the money had been committed earlier.

The cabinet said €6.8bn ($8bn) had been earmarked "to accelerate the approach to the climate problem."

"The need for a climate-neutral energy supply is beyond dispute. Gasunie can facilitate the development of that energy supply in the Netherlands. Thanks to the focus the Dutch cabinet is now putting in place, we can accelerate our efforts to achieve this and support users to make the switch to alternatives such as hydrogen and residual heat. That is an important step for the climate,” said Gasunie CEO Han Fennema.

In the spring, the minister for the economy and climate asked the company to develop a national hydrogen network. Gasunie will connect hydrogen supply and demand within and between industrial clusters, storage locations and with other countries.

Around 85% of the hydrogen network will be based on repurposed existing natural gas pipelines and the first discussions with companies interested in a connection with the hydrogen infrastructure have started.

"The allocation of €750mn by the Dutch caretaker cabinet to limit the risks for Gasunie ensures that we can make the necessary pre-investments in hydrogen infrastructure so that we are ready when industry wants to use hydrogen," Fennema said.

The cabinet is also making funds available for the development of the South Holland heat transport network.  It will circulate residual heat from the Rotterdam port area.

"This brings the positive decision about the construction of this heat transport network closer,” the CEO said. “We hope to be able to take further decisions later this year.

Carbon capture boost

The government also wants to stimulate more carbon capture and storage by raising the ceiling of 7mn metric tons of CO2 by a maximum of 2.5mn mt. And from 2023, the cabinet wants to place 'baffles' between groups of technologies to prevent certain promising technologies from being left out.

The director of the utilities industry group VEMW, Hans Grunfeld, said: “We appreciate the extra impulse that the government wants to give to taking measures aimed at reducing emissions and the infrastructure required for this. The focus on the development of networks for hydrogen and heat decoupling is very justified.

"And there should be more room for the expansion of electricity networks for new connections and reinforcements of existing connections for industry and data centres, as well as matching the changing supply and demand relationships and the need for system flexibility. In view of the great importance and urgency of increasing congestion on the networks, we would like to discuss this with the minister, politicians and stakeholders," he said.