During the final week of October, a delegation of representatives from Energy NL and econext travelled to Germany and the Netherlands to learn more about the emerging global wind and hydrogen industry. The purpose of the trade mission was to better understand the supply chain requirements for the industry, build upon previously established partnerships, and identify potential export markets in Europe for Newfoundland and Labrador’s renewable energy products.
The group spent a total of five days in Germany and the Netherlands, including visits to the City of Hamburg and the Port of Rotterdam and surrounding sites. During the visit the delegation met with like-minded organizations, visited renewable energy facilities, and toured several ports designed to import hydrogen from jurisdictions such as Newfoundland and Labrador.
The mission kicked off in Germany where members met with officials from ABO Wind and toured the Spreeau Wind Farm, east of Berlin. The group visited the Port of Rostock, a large industrial port on the Baltic Sea which is preparing to become one of the champions for hydrogen import and supply in Germany. This port has been approved for a European Union funded project to transform to a carbon-free energy supply and storage port, which includes the construction of an electrolysis plant for hydrogen production. In Hamburg, Germany, discussion took place with various local development organizations and private sector companies that are preparing for the hydrogen economy and looking to establish Hamburg as a green hydrogen hub.
While in the Netherlands, the delegation visited DOB Academy, a local training institution developed to provide instruction specific to the wind industry. DOB Academy has been proposed as a partner in a potential wind-hydrogen project for western Newfoundland and Labrador to help train locals for working in the renewable energy sector. Another highlight of the Netherlands portion of the itinerary was a tour of the Port of Rotterdam – the largest port in Europe – led by the Port of Rotterdam Authority. The Port of Rotterdam has been a trailblazer in the development of hydrogen and other energy carriers and port officials are keen to develop and foster relationships with Newfoundland and Labrador, and in particular, connect with potential project developers.
Being on the ground in Europe it became clear to delegates that the demand for clean energy sources in Europe is very real, and massive. There is significant potential for green hydrogen and associated carrier fuels, and Newfoundland and Labrador has the opportunity to be a major global supplier. Many groups and individuals in Germany and the Netherlands consider Newfoundland and Labrador to be a leading jurisdiction to supply Europe with clean hydrogen.
Trade missions, such as this one, offer an invaluable perspective and unique opportunity to share information and establish partnerships as we prepare to take full advantage of the emerging hydrogen industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. Energy NL and econext look forward to working collaboratively and building upon the success of this mission and forging strong relationships in Europe and beyond.