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HYDROGEN REGION Flanders – South Netherlands

In international energy forecasts, hydrogen is considered as a promising energy carrier. Hydrogen, if produced in a sustainable way, indeed offers perspectives in various different fields:

- ecology (less emissions, noise,..);
- energy (no fossil fuels);
- innovation (high-tech development);
- economy (new industry/high-quality employment creation)
- international profiling/anchoring.

Europe strongly supports the importance of hydrogen. Therefore, recently the Joint Undertaking on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (JU-FCH) has been launched, with the purpose of bundling the forces/efforts of the European industry, knowledge centres and regions (e.g. through the realization of demonstration projects). Europe has unlocked 470 million euros to this end, which implies that, with the public/private approach, there is a total budget of about 1 billion euro for 2008 – 2013.

Also the region of Flanders – Southern Netherlands has the potential to grow into a trend-setting hydrogen region within Europe, because the region is home to a number of important and promising players and end-users (markets) for hydrogen. Therefore the project “Hydrogen regio Flanders-South-Netherlands” has been set up.

The aim of the project is to develop the region of Flanders-Southern Netherlands as a knowledge intensive region in the field of hydrogen applications, making use of sustainably produced hydrogen.

The project will realise the following activities:
• the development of hydrogen infrastructure – two “re-locatable” hydrogen fuel stations
• the demonstration of early-market applications relevant for the region (logistics, maritime, public transport)
• An interactive educational program

The project is approved within the European Interreg Program for a period of 3 years (2009 -2012). It is financed by Europe, the Flemish and the Dutch government and the industry, with a total budget of 14,1 million Euro. The project is coördinated by WaterstofNet vzw.

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