Unveiling complexity of hydrogen integration: A multi-faceted exploration of challenges in the Dutch context

Mahshid Hasankhani*, Jo van Engelen, Sine Celik, Jan-Carel Diehl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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As the transition to sustainable energy intensifies, hydrogen emerges as a pivotal medium in mitigating climate change and improving energy security. While its applicability across various sectors is undeniable, its integration into established energy systems presents multifaceted challenges. This study investigates the complexities of integrating hydrogen into the Netherlands' energy systems. Beyond technological advancements, the successful design and rollout of a hydrogen supply chain require coordination and collaboration among a myriad of stakeholders. Through a mixed-methods approach, this study combines findings from a broad literature review, policy document analyses, evaluation of 59 field projects, and engaging dialogues with 33 key stakeholders from different sectors. This investigation led to the identification and categorization of key players in the Dutch hydrogen sector, revealing their interconnected roles and the challenges encountered in the hydrogen integration process. The study further categorized the identified challenges faced by stakeholders into five core domains: technical, infrastructural (including supply chain), socioeconomic, environmental, and institutional, with associated factors. Prominent challenges include transportation infrastructure upgrades, high initial costs and scalability, effective storage methods, safety and cybersecurity measures, storage and distribution infrastructure, security of supply, and public acceptance. This study contributes to the hydrogen integration discourse, offering insights for academics, industry, and policymakers. Its detailed stakeholder analysis, holistic categorization of challenges across five domains, and a stakeholder-centric approach grounded in real-world dialogues offer applicable frameworks beyond its primary context. In this vein, it guides future research and decisions, and its approach is adaptable for different regions or sectors, emphasizing comprehensive transition strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number139927
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Hydrogen infrastructure
  • Hydrogen supply chain
  • Sectoral distribution shifts
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Stakeholder coordination
  • Energy policy


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