France wants 6.5 GW of hydrogen capacity by 2030

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From pv magazine France.

The French government wants 6.5 GW of hydrogen generation capacity by 2030 under the France Relance Covid recovery plan.

The details were revealed by minister of ecological transition Barbara Pompili and Bruno Le Maire, minister of the economy, finance and recovery, who today presented a national strategy for the development of carbon-free hydrogen to the French Association for hydrogen and fuel cells and the sector’s other major players.

The ministers reminded their audience the hydrogen strategy has been allocated €7.2 billion to 2030 under the France Relance plan, including €2 billion up to 2022.

The government defined three hydrogen priorities. Firstly, it wants to decarbonize the industry with a pathway to electrolysis for carbon-free fuel, rather than the generation of hydrogen from fossil fuels. In line with that aim, France will launch an Important Project of Common European Interest for hydrogen similar to the European sustainable battery manufacturing ambition. “This, notably, involves the planning of gigawatt-sized electrolyzer projects in France, according to a scheme similar to the battery plan which provides for the development of the Nersac and Douvrin factories by ACC, a joint venture of [carmaker stable] PSA and [energy company] Total/[and battery subsidiary] Saft (soon to be joined by Renault),” the hydrogen strategy stated.

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The second priority is the development of hydrogen-fueled public transport and commercial goods vehicles – including trains and bin lorries – across large territories. A €350 million tender for innovative projects in that area will be held this year and a €275 million exercise has also been planned to procure ‘innovative large-scale industrial ecosystem’ facilities. The latter, which will attempt to encourage economies of scale, will be conducted by the Environment and Energy Management Agency.

The government will devote €65 million to its third hydrogen priority – an R&D and skills development program across research institutes, universities and engineering schools next year.

The ministers added, the €3.4 billion allocated to hydrogen up to 2023 will be split 54% towards decarbonization, 27% to public transport and goods and 19% for R&D, innovation and training.

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