The Dutch government on Friday said it would appoint gas grid operator Gasunie to oversee plans to develop a hydrogen network in the North Sea, Energy Minister Rob Jetten said in a letter to parliament.
The Dutch government is due on Dec. 8 to debate in parliament over ambitious plans to shift much of the Netherlands' existing natural gas network to hydrogen over the coming decade.
The country has plans to add more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind capacity annually for many years into the future, reaching 20GW by 2030.
Engineers say not all of that can be used during morning and afternoon hours when most is generated, and the government is exploring alternative ways to store electricity.
Batteries and hydrogen are among solutions under consideration.
Friday's letter envisions Gasunie as an organization to oversee the construction of hydrogen pipes to bring hydrogen to shore, along with 4GW of capacity to convert electricity at sea to hydrogen by hydrolysis.
No cost estimate was given. Electric grid operator TenneT is spending tens of billions of euros to build connection stations and lines to bring wind-generated electricity to shore by 2030.
(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout, Geert De Clercq, Editing by Louise Heavens)