On 16 November 2022, His Majesty the king paid a working visit to the hydrogen cluster at The Kleefse Waard Industrial Park (IPKW) in Arnhem. The visit focused on the growing hydrogen economy and the important role that hydrogen plays in the energy transition.  Read more about the tour of the hydrogen cluster in this article.

Dutch supply chain
The king was received at Nedstack, which recently became the first Dutch company  to  receive an IPCEI subsidy for scaling up fuel cell production. In the production hall, the importance of fuel cells systems was explained, which can supply clean propulsion of ships and in storage of sustainable generated energy. Nedstack develops and manufactures these systems, and coordinates a mostly Dutch supply chain.

The rest of the tour was done by hydrogen bus. During the ride at IPKW, king Willem-Alexander heard more about the startups and multinationals that are working on a cleaner future here. This is done, among other things, via Connectr – Energy innovation. Connectr removes the barriers that you as a company, government or educational institution can experience when scaling up and marketing your innovation. In this way, this public-private partnership ensures the acceleration of the energy transition.

Preparing technology for the market
HyET, the first 'bus stop', also focuses on accelerating the energy transition. The HyET Group is active throughout the entire energy chain and collaborates extensively with universities and other knowledge institutes. The goal: to further develop technology and prepare it for the market. The HyET Group currently consists of seven companies, including HyET Hydrogen.

Then it is the turn of HyGear, supplier of hydrogen to industry, filling stations and distribution centers. Here the king got an insight into the innovative approach of this hydrogen pioneer.  HyGear produces hydrogen efficiently and small-scale at the customer's location. As a result, the transport of hydrogen by road is avoided, which makes a considerable difference in terms of costs and CO2 emissions.

During the tour of the various companies, the king showed himself very interested in the applications of hydrogen and the various technical inventions in the larger hydrogen chain.

Huge batteries
After a tour of the containers in which this system is supplied, the bus drove on to Elestor. This fast-growing party develops flow batteries with hydrogen and bromine; raw materials that are available almost indefinitely. Another advantage: unlike regular batteries, Elestor's can be huge. In August, the storage expert secured  an investment of 30 million euros.

Last stop before the royal entourage was HyMove. HyMove develops hydrogen fuel cell systems for heavy vehicles, such as agricultural vehicles, inland vessels, trucks and buses (including the bus that drove the king around). Here is a test installation explained how this system works. The so-called Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC) were also discussed. That is an oil in which you can store and transport hydrogen, where it does not have to be put under pressure. As a result, five times as much hydrogen  can be transported compared to hydrogen under pressure.

Growing hydrogen economy
Together with the parties visited, the king sat down for a round table discussion.  The conversation focused on the role of SMEs in the energy transition, the importance of a Dutch manufacturing industry and the opportunities and challenges in the process of industrialization. Part of the conversation was the urgency of a strong human capital agenda, to recruit enough talent for the hydrogen economy.

In addition, it was about the hydrogen economy that is experiencing considerable growth worldwide. Not surprising, because hydrogen technology plays an important role in various social themes. In this way, it not only contributes to achieving the climate ambitions, but also to our energy independence, sustainable economic recovery and green employment.

The greater is the importance of a shared ecosystem, as the king  has been able to see at IPKW. In such an ecosystem, different companies work on their own innovations, and facilities and knowledge are shared.