Updated December 2021
Target: by 2023
800 - 2,000
includes Bus & Truck
20,000 - 50,000
400 - 1,000
112 Small Units
Hydrogen Roadmaps and Strategies
Hydrogen Vision for France 2020 to 2030 Infographic (January 2021)
Stratégie nationale pour le développement de l'hydrogène décarboné en France (in French only) (08 September 2020)
(National strategy for the development of carbon-free hydrogen in France)
Plan de déploiement de l'hydrogène pour la transition énergétique (in French only) (01 June 2018)
Initiatives, Programs, and Policies
On 8 September 2020, at the event organized by the French national hydrogen association AFHYPAC in Paris, the Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, and the Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery, Bruno Le Maire, presented the new strategy for renewable and low-carbon hydrogen development in France.
A €7B strategy - €3.4B for the next Three years – with three priorities to reach climate neutrality by 2050
- Decarbonised and competitive H2 for industry
- Development of a French water electrolysis industry through IPCEI (6.5GW installed by 2030)
- Replacement of fossil derived H2 with clean H2 (mainly refineries and chemistry) through renewable and low-carbon hydrogen certification and CfD aid type mechanism
- Clean hydrogen for heavy duty transport application (6Mt CO2 saved annually by 2030)
- Heavy duty vehicles manufacturing and components through a “demonstration and technology bricks call for projects
- Development of important H2 usage projects at local level through a “local hydrogen hubs” call for projects
- Support research, innovation and know-how development for tomorrow’s usages (50,000– 150,000 direct and indirect job creation)
- Implementation of a priority research programme for hydrogen applications
- Education and professional training programmes for hydrogen based on “profession and qualification campus”.
An Important Project of European Common Interest (IPCEI) should start in 2021. OCT 13, the President of the French Republic, the German Chancellor and the President of the European Commission agree at a Franco-German summit to boost the creation of an important project of common European interest (IPCEI) on hydrogen.
During the European Hydrogen Forum organised by the European Commission on 26 and 27 November, details were provided on the setting up of an IPCEI on hydrogen by the European Commission and the Member States. The Minister for Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, unveiled the timetable envisaged by France to “build a clean and resilient hydrogen value chain” through the IPCEI. Minister explained, “Aim for a pre-notification [in Brussels] in May 2021 and a notification in November”. France has selected 24 industrial candidates and has reserved €1.5B for this IPCEI.
Regional hydrogen strategies and plans. Following Nomandie region in 2018 and Occitanie and Hauts-de-France regions in 2019, eight new French regions have released their hydrogen strategy or roadmap in 2020:
- Bourgogne Franche Comté. The region plans to invest €90M by 2030 in addition to the €12M it is already investing starting in 2016.
- Pays de la Loire has adopted its 2020-2030 roadmap in July with a budget of €100M around 25 measures.
- Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, already engaged in the deployment project Zero Emission Valley has adopted its roadmap in July around mobility and industrial usages of renewable hydrogen.
- Centre Val de Loire, in September, presented its hydrogen strategy around 3 axis: Renewable H2 production, Network the territory to offer H2 mobility to the entire population of the Region, and develop renewable hydrogen usages for the heating sector.
- Nouvelle Aquitaine, in October, released its roadmap with the objective of structuring and developing a hydrogen industrial sector across the entire value chain, with a particular focus on the uses of mobility and energy mix networks.
- Bretagne, at the end of October, published its roadmap for the Region that emphasizes the industrial ambition in the field of naval applications and that of offshore hydrogen production.
- Ile-de-France, in October, integrated the development of a hydrogen mobility in its roadmap for the energetic transition.
- Grand Est, in December, published its strategy with the objective of possibly becoming a hydrogen exporting region, of positioning itself as the supplier of a new low-carbon and green fuel in large volumes, for land uses or in long-distance transit, of standing out by investing in hydrogen river mobility and of building hydrogen projects in a European logic with neighbouring countries
The French national hydrogen association AFHYPAC becomes “France Hydrogene”. A new name, a new dimension and a new identity! A new identity still committed to the ecological transition. The growth in the hydrogen sector is reflected in the attractiveness of the France Hydrogen association, which now brings together nearly 250 stakeholders, all committed to achieving a structured hydrogen deployment in France, both across the value chain and in all territories.
Ministers Bruno Le Maire and Elisabeth Borne met the Hydrogen Council in Paris. For its 3rd Annual Meeting, the Hydrogen Council met in Versailles on 20th of January on the sidelines of the “Choose France Summit” organized by President Macro
Launch by the French Government two new Calls for Expressions of Interest on Hydrogen. With a budget of €22M, a first AMI «Aid for the emergence of hydrogen mobility in the rail sector» addresses the regional rail transport authorities and aims to support the emergence of hydrogen mobility in the rail sector via bi-mode trains (electric/hydrogen).
A second AMI “Large-scale projects on the design, production and use of hydrogen systems” launched in January with mid-term closures mid-April (160 proposals) and end of June, to identify the structuring projects for the hydrogen sector and to accelerate the large-scale development of innovative technological levels on industrial and infrastructure projects.
The Ministry states that “The most effective structuring projects to develop the industrial clean hydrogen production can be supported in calls for projects launched in April 2020 or be supported at European level, for example in the framework of major projects of European Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI)”.
Recovery plan for the automotive sector: On 26th of May, President Macron presented the stimulus package for the automotive sector, which he described as historic and focuses on clean cars. Thus, the bonus for electric vehicles (including those running on hydrogen) is increased to €7,000 for individuals and €5,000 for businesses. In addition, an aid of € 5,000 will be granted for the purchase of an electric vehicle as part of the conversion premium (which will be accessible to three-quarters of the French). It will be valid for the first 200,000 vehicles.
Recovery plan for the aeronautic sector: Green aircraft: €1.5 billion by the end of 2022 (8 June). In addition to its immediate support for the aerospace sector, the government’s recovery plan also aims to intensify R&D on "environmental disruption": accelerate the work on the green or sustainable aircraft. For this, no less than €1.5B will be released by the end of 2022 with the objective "to develop a regional aircraft with hybrid propulsion for commissioning at the end of the decade", stresses Elisabeth Borne, Minister of Ecological Transition. For the successor to the Airbus A320, the timetable is also tight since it is a question of developing a first demonstrator between 2026 and 2028 with an entry into operation between 2033 and 2035. With two areas of work: "energy efficiency thanks to a 30% decrease in fuel consumption and a 100% biofuel capacity" and "the switch to hydrogen as a primary energy".
Research and Development
In the frame of the new French hydrogen strategy, a support to research, innovation and know-how development for tomorrow’s usages has been put in place as of 2021.
- Implementation of a priority research programme for hydrogen applications (TRL 1-4 research) with a budget of €65M around four axis (i) Hydrogen production by electrolysis (ii) Hydrogen storage (iii) Hydrogen conversion (PEMFC, SOFC) (iv) accompanying framework issues needed with the deployment of hydrogen systems (LC(S)A, RCS, safety)
- Education and professional training programmes for hydrogen based on “profession and qualification campus” with a budget of €30M.
Occitanie region to build hydrogen aircraft research campus. In partnership with Toulouse Métropole, the regional council will create a technological research campus on hydrogen aircraft at Francazal airport. It will include the current hydrogen research platform, which will be expanded to 150 researchers, and will be equipped with test beds and R&D activities from Airbus, Safran, Liebherr and Vitesco Technologies, among others.
- CEA received the award of EARTO (European Association of Research Technology Organisations) Innovation Awards 2019 in the Impact Expected category for the development of the Smart Energy Hub, a hybrid energy storage and co-generation system composed of a reversible SOFC/SOEC and batteries with smart energy management, enabling buildings to use their own clean and local energy supply. CEA – rSOC Solution, Energy transition on the move.
- Artificial photosynthesis: hybridizing molecules and materials based on abundant elements for the production of H2. As part of the “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative, CEA, in collaboration with Néel Institute and EPFL, have taken another step towards the preparation of a sustainable photo-electrode for hydrogen production. It is based on a hybrid architecture, a semiconductor that absorbs light and is interfaced with a molecular catalyst. The system consists of only non-toxic elements found in abundant quantities in the Earth’s crust. The strategy is to use a mixed semiconductor oxide composed of iron and copper to absorb visible light and generate an electron flux from the electrode where it is deposited to its surface with an aqueous solution.
Demonstration, Deployments, and Workforce Developments
Airbus multiplies hydrogen aircraft concepts before final selection in 2025. Recently, the French aircraft manufacturer has unveiled a new model composed of 6 removable "pods" under the wings containing fuel cells
- Qairos Energies to transform hemp into hydrogen. The Sarthoise company Qairos Energies plans to invest €18.8M in a pyro-gasification unit for locally grown hemp. This technology is an alternative to electrolysis for the production of renewable hydrogen.
- ALSTOM to sell hydrogen trains in Italy. The French railway manufacturer has announced it has won a first contract worth €160M in Italy to supply six regional hydrogen trains for the Milan region.
- Bulane, inventor of the industrial hydrogen flame, has just passed the 1,000 units of its Dyomix® electrolyser delivered to the European boiler market. Bulane developed a unique device in 2009: the Dyomix® electrolyser, a high-precision welding machine that produces a very hot hydrogen flame (2800°); Clean, CO2-free, ideal for assembling metals (climate, electrical, jewellery, etc.)
- Pragma Industries associated with the Lyon-based company Apollon Solar, has sold its autonomous generators to Japanese civil aid. A €1M contract has just been signed between Pragma Industries and Apollon Solar and the Japanese civil relief services. The two French companies each developed part of the solution. Pragma imagined "Trekhy" a fuel cell system, Apollo designed Gennao H2, a hydrogen reactor.
- Jupiter 1000 injects its hydrogen. The Jupiter 1000 project has entered a decisive phase of its history since it successfully carried out the first gas injections into the gas network.
- Plastic Omnium and Elringklinger associated for hydrogen mobility. The specialist in body parts and cleaning systems Plastic Omnium has teamed up with the German supplier to create Ekpo, a joint venture developing a fuel cell.
- RATP, the Parisian public transportation, runs its first hydrogen bus. The carbon footprint of passengers on line 185 that connects Paris (Porte d'Italie station) to the city of Choisy-le-Roi (Choisy-Sud station) will fall sharply in the coming months. In order to increase its knowledge on hydrogen, the RATP has started on Monday 19 October a first series of tests with a hydrogen bus.
- Bouygues invests in PowiDian, a specialist in "green" hydrogen solutions. Bouygues invests in green hydrogen! Bouygues Energies & Services, an investment vehicle in Bouygues Construction start-ups, has signed an investment agreement in PowiDian, a specialist in "green" hydrogen solutions for territorial energy independence. Positioned on the energy transition, PowiDian develops 100% renewable electricity generation solutions for isolated and autonomous energy sites.
- French hydrogen electrolyser specialist McPhy raises €180 million. Chart International Holdings, Inc., a division of Chart Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: GTLS) (“Chart Industries”) and Technip Energies B.V. (“Technip Energies” subsidiary of TechnipFMC plc) (the “Strategic Investors”), as well as the historic strategic shareholders EDF Pulse Croissance Holding and the Ecotechnologies Fund, managed by Bpifrance Investissement as part of the Future Investment Programme, participated in the Offer, significantly strengthening the Company’s shareholder structure.
- The equipment manufacturer Faurecia inaugurates in Bavans its worldwide center of expertise dedicated to hydrogen tanks. First component of a hydrogen sector in the Pays de Montbéliard, with the construction in Brognard of a plant to manufacture these large-scale hydrogen tanks from 2023. This centre of expertise will develop innovative materials, integrating artificial intelligence to increase the safety and durability of these storage tools. These tanks designed and developed in Bavans will then be partly produced next door in the new plant that the supplier will build on the economic zone of Technoland 2: 'We have decided to extend this reservoir activity to mass production in a new plant that we will build in Etupes. A €50M investment for a highly digitalised plant that is totally CO2 neutral".
- Symbio selected to equip PSA’s first hydrogen utility vehicle. While the Peugeot Citroen PSA Group will launch a fleet of hydrogen trucks in 2021, it has called on Symbio’s expertise to integrate its standard hydrogen systems into the first 100 utility vehicles.
- The Belgian group John Cockerill is investing €100M to become a major player in the hydrogen sector in France. The Aspach-le-Haut plant in Alsace, specialized in large-capacity electrolysers (5MW), will be operational at the end of 2021.
- Engie and ArianeGroup join forces to propose a solution for heavy transport. Engie and Ariane Group announced the signing of a collaboration agreement in the field of liquefied renewable hydrogen. Both groups focus on heavy and long-haul transport: maritime, rail and aeronautics.
- MOSAHYC, a 100% hydrogen border. The “Mosahyc” (Moselle Sarre Hydrogen Conversion) project, carried out by the French (GRT Gaz) and German (Creos Deutchland) gas transmission network operators has been the subject of an agreement whose objective is to create a 100% hydrogen European transport network by adapting existing gas infrastructures between the German Saarland, the French Grand Est and the Luxembourg border. The project will involve 70 km of pipeline with a capacity of up to 20,000 m³/h. Hydrogen will initially be used for heavy mobility uses in a region experiencing high daily road transits and will then feed industrial uses. In the longer term, the project paves the way for further conversions. The ambition is to contribute to the development of a regional cross-border hydrogen ecosystem.
- Symbio, a Faurecia Michelin Hydrogen Company (Nov 2019): Equally owned by Faurecia and Michelin, the joint venture will invest €140M now, notably in a new factory in the region of Lyon. Symbio aims at becoming a world leader in hydrogen mobility by developing, producing, and marketing hydrogen fuel cell systems for light vehicles, commercial vehicles, buses and trucks, as well as for other areas of electro-mobility. Chaired by Fabio Ferrari, the founder of Symbio, it aims to hold 25% of the hydrogen market with a turnover of €1.5B by 2030.
- Alstom a major player in hydrogen trains: After 18 months of testing, the two trains, which were put into service in September 2018, travelled 180,000 km. With this pilot operation, Alstom demonstrated that it is possible to use fuel cell technology for the daily transport of passengers. This success makes Alstom a major player in the market for green and sustainable mobility solutions for rail transport». Alstom is to build hydrogen trains for Italy (a five-year agreement signed with SNAM), to deliver 41 Coradia iLint trains to the Länder of Lower Saxony and Hesse in 2022 and has tested for ten days at night, without a passenger, in the north of the Netherlands.
- Power to Gas: hydrogen injected into the gas network by Jupiter 1000 (20 February) In Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône), the demonstrator Jupiter 1000 injected hydrogen for the first time on the gas network on February 20. An important milestone for this French Power to Gas project.
- Lhyfe, new French startup, plans to deploy twenty green hydrogen electrolysers in four years (April). After a first order made in February for its future Bouin site in Vendée, the green hydrogen producer Lhyfe (15 employees) ordered 20 electrolysers from the Norwegian group NEL. Lhyfe plans to install them in the next four years on production sites in France and abroad, for local authorities and industry. They are initially intended for hydrogen-powered buses and household garbage trucks in the West of France. In addition to the €2.8M already invested in the creation of its R&D centre, which should be launched in 2021, Lhyfe plans to invest €5.5M in research and development over the next three years. The French bank of investment Bpifrance announces in May that it will support Lhyfe up to half of this new investment. Lhyfe intends to open in 2021 the first green hydrogen plant in France, produced thanks to wind energy, near the Bouin wind farm.
- Hyflexpower (2 June) Engie Solutions, Siemens Gas and Power, Centrax, Arttic, the German Aerospace Centre and four European universities are launching the first "power-to-X-to-power" demonstrator project, incorporating a hydrogen-powered gas turbine. The European project Hyflexpower was launched as part of the Horizon 2020 framework programme. It is the "first industrial demonstrator in the world power-to-X-to-power equipped with an advanced hydrogen turbine," said the project partners. This demonstrator will be installed at the Smurfit Kappa PRF site in Saillat-sur-Vienne (Haute-Vienne), where Engie Solutions operates a 12 MWe cogeneration plant that produces steam for industrial use.
- mosaHYc: a 100% hydrogen cross-border gas network conversion project (26 May) Grtgaz and CREOS announced their collaboration to create a 100% hydrogen European transport network, linking the Saar (Germany), the Grand Est (France) and the Luxembourg border. This unprecedented agreement between the two gas transport operators aims to make accessible a 70 km hydrogen transport infrastructure, by adapting existing gas infrastructure. This network will thus contribute to the development of a regional hydrogen ecosystem, cross-border between three countries.
- H2V launches its hydrogen production plant in Normandy (22 May). H2V has filed with the town hall of Saint-Jean-de-folleville, a building permit for the first part of a "massive" hydrogen electrolysis production plant. This site aims to "decarbonize the oil industry" by offering hydrogen at the nearby refinery in Port-Jérôme. The leaders are talking about commissioning in 2022. The plant is expected to create 70 direct jobs. The capacity to produce green hydrogen will be 14,000 tonnes per year in 2022, and then 28,000 tonnes thereafter. H2V is partnering with Air Liquide.
Events and Solicitations
9-10 December 2020 ENERGAÏA, FORUM DES ENERGIES RENOUVELABLES, Montpellier
12-14 January 2021 ASSISES EUROPÉENNES DE LA TRANSITION ENERGÉTIQUE, vitual
13 January 2021 French-Japanese panel discussion on the foundations for the energy transition
23-24 march 2021,European Zero Emission Bus conference, Paris
3-4 May 2021, Hyvolution 2021, Lyon
9-11 June 2021, 8th edition of the Territorial hydrogen days, Dunkerque
Investments and Funding
Two call for projects have been published in October 2020
“demonstration and technology bricks” with a budget of €350 M for the next three years
“local hydrogen hubs” with a budget of €275 M for the next three years.
The French Government communicated on the results of the support of calls for projects (CFP) in 2019:
- €11.5 million for the 5 winners of the CFP industry and
€80 million for the 20 winners of the CFP mobility are mobilized
Regulations, Codes & Standards, and Safety
Development is underway of an Ordinance and a Decree to define the terminology of the different types of hydrogen, various measures regulating its production, transport, storage and traceability, a framework to support the production of renewable and low carbon hydrogen, and guarantees of origin for renewable and low carbon hydrogen following article 52 of the Energy-Climate law.
The two regulations should be published in early 2021. The finalisation of the technical Ministerial Order is expected during 2021.
Development is underway of an ordinance and a decree to define the terminology of the different types of hydrogen, various measures regulating its production, transport, storage and traceability, a framework to support the production of renewable and low carbon hydrogen, and guarantees of origin for renewable and low carbon hydrogen following article 52 of the Energy-Climate law. The two regulations should be published in early November 2020.
Ministry of Economy, Finance, and the Recovery
2.Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Associations and organisations