Wind Meets Gas symposium with a royal touch

On 7 and 8 October, energy experts and policy makers from the Netherlands and abroad will meet in Groningen for the 5th Wind Meets Gas symposium. His Majesty King Willem-Alexander will be present as the guest of honour and will give the opening address. Diederik Samsom, Chief of Cabinet of European Commissioner Frans Timmermans and Sandor Gaastra, Director-General of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate will then speak. The annual symposium is an initiative of New Energy Coalition and discusses the latest developments on the road to the green energy system of the future. ERIG is a partner of the Wind Meets Gas symposium.

After the opening programme, the plenary programme will start with key note speakers Bart Biebuyck (FCH JU), Ruud de Jongh (Shell), Faiza Oulahsen (Greenpeace) and Gerald Linke (ERIG President and CEO DVGW (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water).

His Majesty the King and a number of guests including the King’s Commissioner René Paas, Mayor Koen Schuiling and DG Sandor Gaastra will follow a shortened programme separately and tour the various drop-in sessions, including a VR-tour of the Northern Netherlands region along the green hydrogen value chain that is being realised in the HEAVENN project.

Wind Meets Gas brings together energy experts and policy makers from industry, research and government to discuss developments in the energy transition in relation to hydrogen: from large-scale application and system integration to education and the labour market and everything in between. Green hydrogen is globally recognised as an indispensable link in the sustainable energy system of the future. The North Sea Energy Issue and Connecting Hydrogen Valleys’ is this year’s overarching theme of the event.

Hydrogen living lab

The Northern Netherlands has been appointed by the EU/FCH JU as the first Hydrogen Valley in Europe, a testing ground for the development and application of hydrogen gas. The Northern Netherlands region is ideally suited for preparing for a new energy future, given the available infrastructure (gas network, deep-sea port), the energy clusters present and the knowledge and expertise that has been built up in this area in recent decades of natural gas extraction from the Groningen-gas field. Stakeholders in the region are joining forces to make their historical energy position future-proof – with Groningen as the logical home base for the Wind Meets Gas symposium.

North Sea Region Fit for 55?

The first symposium day will focus on the role of the North Sea region in the realization of a carbon-free energy system towards the year 2050. Can the region, together with its neighbouring countries, become a world-leading example of a successful energy transition? The main ingredients for such a position seem to be present, but will it be possible to create the joint strategy required to make it happen? Is the North Sea region ‘Fit for 55’, after the title of the EU climate plan?


Hydrogen Valley alliances

On the second day of the symposium, experts will discuss the Hydrogen Valley initiatives that are developing in the European Union. What do the various initiatives have in common and how do they differ? Where are the synergies and how do they avoid duplication and unnecessary competition? Intensive cooperation seems the best way. Representatives of Hydrogen Valleys will share their practical experiences this day, and look for ways to align interests and create sustainable, cross-border alliances.

The two-day symposium takes place in the historical church Martinikerk in the city of Groningen, with several side events and workshops. Participation is by invitation. More information can be found at .