The Netherlands and Australia are two markets that are leading the regulatory, policy and strategy space for green hydrogen (produced from renewables via electrolysis) and demonstrating supportive traits of growth, Fitch Solutions said.

In the second part of its ‘Industrial Clusters of the Future – Hydrogen Hubs’ report, the analysts say they expect the EU to see hydrogen hub project gains as more markets look to develop clusters of H2 supply and demand.

The Netherlands in particular are becoming one of the pioneering hydrogen hubs in Europe, due to nearly 300 hydrogen tech firms already operating in the country, with projects clustered around the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

“Large industry players in the Netherlands are working on the further development and connectivity of industrial clusters to make way for greater scaling up around the Port of Amsterdam over the next decade, with the hydrogen industry set to take a more significant role,” the report states.

“As one of the leading and most sophisticated smart ports in the world, the Port of Rotterdam is using smart technology to reduce energy consumption and create more efficient energy supply. The use of process automation is increasing energy efficiency and safety.”

Fitch Solutions cites the 250MW electrolyser capacity project in the Port of Rotterdam by oil & gas majors BP and Shell, together with Nouryon, to develop green H2 to be used at BP’s petrochemical refineries.

The Maasvlakte area in Europe’s largest harbour could also host an up to 500MW hydrogen plant by Fortum subsidiary Uniper, as Recharge had reported earlier this year.

Oil supermajor Shell, together with Equinor, RWE and Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie are also in the study phase for the up to 10GW offshore-wind-to-hydrogen project North2 in the Dutch part of the North Sea, which is one of the largest renewable hydrogen projects in the world.

Another country with even larger projects is Australia, which is home to the hitherto largest hydrogen project in the world, the 50GW Western Green Energy Hub (WGEH) by InterContinental Energy and CWP Global, which aims at producing green fuels from solar and wind power in Western Australia.

The mega-project could eventually power 28GW of electrolyser capacity, delivering up to 3.5m tonnes of renewables H2 or 20m tonnes of green ammonia each year, eying energy hungry export markets such as Japan or South Korea.

“Already, we are seeing an increasing number of collaborative partnerships between Japanese and Australian companies to develop green hydrogen projects in Australia, where the conditions are more ideal, but with most of the hydrogen produced then being exported,” Fitch Solutions said.

“Australia has a high potential to scale up the development of green hydrogen and reach cost parity, given its well-developed and expanding renewable energy market, which has already depressed electricity prices in recent years and grown cost-competitive with fossil fuels.”

Next to the release of its National Hydrogen Strategy, Australia also provides widely available funding and support, both on the federal and state levels for the development of green H2 production and export hubs, the analysts note.