To decarbonise energy-intensive industries as well as heavy and maritime transport, the Belgian government rolled out the federal hydrogen vision and strategy as part of the European hydrogen strategy aiming to deal with technological and economic challenges ahead.
The strategy is built on four pillars:
- Positioning Belgium as an import and transit hub in Europe. The country will remain dependent on energy imports in various forms to cover its domestic demand, estimating between 2 and 6 TWh of renewable hydrogen (or derivatives) in 2030 and between 100 and 165 TWh in 2050. In this context, two conditions are essential: certification scheme for RFNBOs and agreements with EU and extra-EU partners.
- Becoming a leader in hydrogen technologies. To strengthen the leading position in hydrogen technologies, the Energy Transition Fund will continue to operate until 2025 to provide 20 to 30 million euros in support funding. In addition, the federal government has allocated a budget of 60 million euros (including 50 million euros from the national recovery and resilience plan) to support various projects to scale up promising technologies.
- Establishing a robust hydrogen market. The federal government plan to pursue the development of a hydrogen transport infrastructure by open-access pipeline. A first phase will be started by the commissioning of minimum 100 to 160km pipelines for H2 transport by 2026, partly supported by a budget of 95 million euros in the context of the national recovery and resilience plan. By 2030, Belgium has the ambition to connect the import hub to neighbouring countries via the open-access hydrogen network in order to realise its international positioning as an import and transit hub for renewable energy in Europe.
- Investing in cooperation as a key success factor. Effective collaboration at all levels will have to be implemented to ensure the success of this strategy.