EXPRESS #1 - September 18, 2018
Here two bits of what may seem like local news (Energy Post is based in the Netherlands), but nonetheless seem quite significant – and have not had much attention outside the country.
First: Shell “expects to grow to around 500 to 700 jobs in its New Energies hub in the Netherlands and sees potential for this number to rise further beyond that date”, the company has said in a press release.
Shell also intends to invest more than $200 million in a new Shell campus in The Hague and will bolster its Research & Development capabilities in Amsterdam.
In The Hague the company intends to “create a modern campus over the next five years, including housing of the growing New Energies business.”
Marjan van Loon, CEO of Shell Netherlands, said Shell will focus on a wide range of potential future innovative investments in the Netherlands in New Energies: “From increasing our offshore wind business in the North Sea where we have a founding stake in Borssele III/IV, to investments in hydrogen solutions, our solar park in Moerdijk, to developing a wide range of e-mobility solutions such as with electric vehicle charging stations building on our acquisition of NewMotion in the Netherlands and our fast-charging network Shell Recharge.”
Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam (STCA), which has a Research & Development (R&D) budget averaging around $1 million a day, will continue to serve as one of Shell’s three global hubs for innovation. The other two hubs are located in Houston, Texas, and Bangalore, India.
STCA is where Shell developed “lower-carbon fuels and lubricants derived from natural gas” and other products. STCA’s core expertise “also includes technologies underlying low-carbon energy sources systems based on biofuels and hydrogen”, said Shell. “Much of this work is being enabled by digitalisation: the use of digital data to monitor and optimise industrial processes. STCA recently opened a new wing to accommodate new laboratory equipment and for hosting several hundred additional Shell technical experts in the coming three years.”
The second bit of news is also quite significant: Dutch battery company Lithium Werks has announced “that it will build a major clean energy research and development (R&D) campus” at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
“The company will work on solutions for the energy transition, like new generations of batteries and new approaches to flexible energy storage”, according to the press release. Lithium Werks expects to employ 2,000 people on the new campus.
Lithium Werks, “which supplies 200 million battery cells to more than 1,000 customers in 50 countries, currently produces lithium iron phosphate batteries, or LFP. For the development of the next generations of batteries, Lithium Werks collaborates with the University of Twente, a pioneer in research in the field of new materials, artificial intelligence and control electronics.”
And while we’re in the Netherlands, let me also mention that the New Energy Coalition in the Dutch province of Groningen, which includes Dutch gas network operator Gasunie, has appointed Professor Ad van Wijk as “hydrogen ambassador”.
Van Wijk, part-time professor of Future Energy Systems at TU Delft, will work for two days a week on “creating the best conditions for shaping the northern hydrogen economy. He will work on a hydrogen roadmap that will include advice, European subsidies and overviews of legal frameworks and required adjustments to existing legislation and regulations. Van Wijk will also work on a thematic programme to get the many hydrogen projects in the North going.”
Van Wijk is known as a proponent of the hydrogen economy and grid-to-vehicle technology. He is the former CEO of Econcern, an ambitious renewable energy company that went bankrupt in 2009.