Local renewable energy production is not enough to meet climate targets. To do this, Belgium must import solar or wind energy from countries with plenty of wind and sun. The hydrogen import coalition is studying a means of successfully importing energy using molecules such as hydrogen.
In 2019, seven partners – including Port of Antwerp – joined forces to develop expertise on hydrogen as a means of energy transport. They began a study with one objective: can we bring green energy to Belgium?
They looked at the entire process: production abroad, supply via ships and pipelines, and distribution in Belgium. This study now shows that shipping green energy to Europe is technically and financially feasible.
How do we import green energy?
Belgium does not always have enough wind or solar energy when we need it. So, to achieve a carbon-neutral society, we need storage, and we need to import that energy from abroad, from countries such as Chile, Oman, Australia or Morocco, where wind and sunshine levels are high throughout the year.
To ship energy, you first convert it into molecules. Hydrogen is a molecule, and therefore an excellent medium to carry green energy to Belgium. Once here, we use the green energy for sectors that need it most, such as the chemical industry and heavy transport.