The effects of regional contextual structures on the development of green hydrogen in the Netherlands
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As greenhouse gas emissions must decrease to avoid a climate disaster, energy systems must be transformed. One of the proposed solutions is green hydrogen, a non-emitting energy carrier. To study how technologies like green hydrogen develop and diffuse, the Technological Innovation Systems approach is often used. To incorporate the role of external factors as well as regional differences on technological development on a national scale, this research compares the contextual structures of the regions of the Northern Netherlands and Rotterdam-Moerdijk. The findings show that both regions have specific context conditions that influence the national green hydrogen Technological Innovation System in the Netherlands. The Northern Netherlands’ existing natural gas infrastructure, proactive regional governments and geographical characteristics mean that initiatives along the entire green hydrogen value chain are developed. In Rotterdam-Moerdijk, large industrial actors, existing infrastructure and economic connections with other regions make it suitable for initial market creation and an important future green hydrogen transit region. Based on these findings, it is recommended that the influence of regional contextual structures on national technological innovation systems is strongly considered, both in academics and in policymaking.