Over the next few years, there is a lot to happen in Zeeland when it comes to hydrogen. Due to its large industrial sector, the province has a big climate challenge. The energy transition also offers many opportunities, for example in the field of hydrogen as a clean fuel and raw material. To make the hydrogen transition a success, a lot of investments and trained people are needed.

With regard to the latter, there is an important task for HZ University of Applied Sciences and Scalda. In the Just Transition Fund project HCA Green Hydrogen, they are joining forces to train the professionals of the future. The project was officially launched in January 2024.

Many large, industrial companies in the North Sea Port area such as DOW, Yara and Zeeland Refinery have been using hydrogen from natural gas for years. Much of this grey hydrogen needs to be converted to green hydrogen in the coming years if we want to meet the target of producing less CO2 by 2050.

Green hydrogen is produced from water by electrolysis with electricity. This transition requires substantial investment, but also many skilled professionals, at all levels. If we start training professionals now, we will be on time when the first green hydrogen plants open in Zeeland.

New educational modules

In the HCA Green Hydrogen project, eight technical mbo and eight technical hbo courses will receive new education modules on green hydrogen. Part-time modules are also being developed, designed for professionals who want to retrain, and teachers can follow a professionalisation programme.

Hydrogen laboratory

In order to train students and professionals in the best possible way, there will be, among other things, a practical hydrogen laboratory at the HZ in Vlissingen. Here, students from the HZ and Scalda will soon receive practical education on hydrogen. Among other things, they will work on building a hydrogen boat. They will also have access to a so-called fuel cell demo set (which shows how to convert hydrogen into electricity via a fuel cell), sets for hydrogen practicals, a sustainable simulation house to scale, fuel cells and several types of electrolysers.

The renovation and fitting out of the practice space will take place in the first months of 2024. It should open its doors in mid-June. The HCA Green Hydrogen project came about in consultation with companies and organisations such as the province, Energy Port Zeeland, Smart Delta Resources, DOW Chemical, Orsted, Air Liquide and VoltH2. It runs until 31 December 2026.

Research group

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