Things have moved on since I shared last year’s World Hydrogen Congress report with the community. It has not always been a smooth ride.
Landing in the Netherlands comes with a bird’s-eye view of the Princess Amalia wind farm which was involved with going back as far back as 2005 and long since operational. Behind it, further onshore turbines around docks and the cities along the Randstad Crescent.
The port infrastructure a vision of how many places around the world may appear in coming years.
I’ve known Rotterdam since my Shell days, and it comes with hands on ‘can do’ philosophy which contrasts with some of the white-paper debates taking place elsewhere.
The World Hydrogen Congress has grown from a vibrant post-lockdown session in Amsterdam a couple of years ago in Rotterdam last year and now a whole week of hydrogen here at the World Trade Centre
Impetus continues with an even larger venue next year. It is strange from a UK perspective in that growth is on a global basis, sometimes quantum and it has not been a smooth or linear trajectory. Some early movers have not moved as quickly as anticipated, but other countries have moved in and shown surprising alacrity and moving projects forwards.
Overall, it is a remarkable one stop shop with a vibrant atmosphere and the supply chain here in force.
There’s innovation around electrolyser, especially input variability, stepping up, stepping down reactions and making the equipment more resilient, making it last longer, reducing the all-important capex,
I noticed more engineering companies showing valves and compressors, the people that are going to make the pipelines and various bits of infrastructure necessary for hydrogen economy happen.
There is a feeling that the UK is letting leads slip through their fingers. It has happened before where consent concepts such as computers developed in the UK, and then the prize going elsewhere.
This is happening in the sectors such as offshore wind and of course, hydrogen.
The UK endured a tumbleweed leasing round for offshore wind, where none of the majors even bothered to bid so much for quadrupling the offshore ambition by 2030 in tatters.
The heat proposal based around Whitby hydrogen village has been push back on hydrogen through pipes in the northwest.
There is a widespread feeling that the UK is that to the present regime. is shambolic and in its last days, it is just a case of how poor the polls might be within the next 18 months.
The dramatic flagship dinner we had a vegan menu, lovely venue and entertained by back very lovely melodic backdrop. I was seated between a developer working on ammonia and another a remarkably ambitious high speed liquid hydrogen aviation concept.
An enjoyable discussion with Hack Heyward on the Intelligence day as we were able to follow development in his native US in pretty much real time as the seven successful applicants – minus Corpus Christi – were announced.
My own masterclass on Floating Wind and Hydrogen was well received with plenty of thought provoking questions and ready for a leap forward, with activities as far away as New Zealand.
The hydrogen sector is moving at a quantum rate and 2024 is already shaping up to be a remarkably interesting year with Copenhagen offering an even larger Congress. Hope to see you there!