France devotes €30 billion to energy transition

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From pv magazine France

The French government has launched a new Covid-19 recovery plan that includes €30 billion to invest in the energy transition.

The top priority is the creation of a hydrogen economy, with €2 billion to be invested by the end of 2022 and €7.2 billion up to 2030. The money will be used for R&D activities and industrial electrolysis development projects.

These figure show how much hydrogen has grown in importance in state-level energy strategies. The French government will present the country’s new plans for hydrogen on Sept. 8.

Enerplan, the French solar association, stressed the importance of solar in the production of green hydrogen. “PSolar production, along with other renewable energies, can form the basis of great ambition for the production of carbon-free hydrogen,” the trade body said. “The storage of renewable electricity is a challenge for the years to come, hydrogen coupled with solar parks is a particularly suitable response.”

The package includes €7 billion for building renovations. However, the only reference to renewables in this category is for renewable heat. Enerplan said that energy-related renovations should integrate self-consumption into buildings as much as possible.

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“Whether it is heat or electricity, solar thermal and photovoltaic installations provide direct savings in carbon emissions,” Enerplan stated. “Regulatory measures must be taken urgently to facilitate the use of solar electricity for all buildings and for smart charging of electric cars.”

French renewable energy association SER welcomed the plan to accelerate building renovations.

“However, it is essential that the support systems for individuals become truly operational for all French households, both for overall renovation operations and for other types of work, and that the government can guarantee rapid processing of requests,” SER explained.

SER also said that a sustainable recovery will require ongoing support for renewable energy.

In addition, the French government has decided to allocate €11 billion to decarbonize the transport sector. In the electric vehicle sector, it has earmarked €100 million for the development of terminals for electric vehicles, to achieve the nation’s target of 100,000 terminals by 2021.

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