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Cluster Energy Strategy

The project

The Cluster Energy Strategy Noordzeekanaalgebied (CES NZKG) describes the future supply and demand of the various energy carriers and what energy infrastructure is required to facilitate the energy transition in the industry and achieve the Dutch emission reduction targets.

The Noordzeekanaalgebied (NZKG) is part of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA) and covers the area from IJmuiden to the port of Amsterdam. The area is characterized by the existing manufacturing industry and ports. Steel producer Tata Steel in IJmuiden is the largest player. Where steel is central in the IJmond area, it is food processing in Zaanstad area. The Port of Amsterdam is the 4th largest port in Western Europe and the largest petrol port in the world. The economic importance of the industry and ports in the NZKG is very significant.

Scope and Dimensions

The required energy infrastructure projects of national importance are:

  • A strengthening of the electricity grid

  • A Regional Integrated Backbone (RIB) for hydrogen

  • A system for the capture and distribution of CO2


The inventoried projects of regional importance are:

  • A steam network in the port

  • A local hydrogen network in the port (H2avennet)

  • A hydrogen network for Zaandam (ZaannetH2) 

  • A regional reinforcement of the power grid

  • A (residual) industrial heat network in the IJmond


We also identified some key actions that are required from the central government

  • Regulation of grid management of new energy infrastructures

  • Financing (hydrogen, CO2 and heat)

  • Legal setting of environmental contours for hydrogen and CO2

  • More options for network operators for the perform their legal duties.

  • Use of instruments to move large consumers to take measures themselves to reduce their peak consumption to lower.

  • Process innovation in permit processes

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DAREL, as project manager and advisor, made the Cluster Energy Strategy based on multiple one-on-one interviews with the 35+ largest industrial emitters, the TSO’s and other stakeholders e.g., the province of Noord-Holland and the Port of Amsterdam. 

DAREL also made an update of the CES NZKG to assess the impact of Tata Steel's strategic choice to decarbonise steel production through a new, experimental technology based on natural gas and later green hydrogen.


The industry in the NZKG emits 18,3 Mton CO2. The ambition is to reduce these emissions with nearly 50% in 2030 and to reach net-zero emissions in 2050. 


  • Industry

  • Infrastructure

  • Electricity

  • Hydrogen

  • Natural gas

  • Heat

  • CO2

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