France is reconsidering hydrogen for the future
You may have heard about the new industrial plan for France, pushed by former economy minister Arnaud Montebourg. 34 plans had been announced, in order to adress many sectors, but the governement wants to reduce that number and to have better synergies.
It’s the case for energy. At the beginning, it was only focused on electricity storage and batteries. But, the plan has been renamed “energy storage” and includes hydrogen as well. The good news is that this kind of energy gains more and more interest.
Hydrogen Today learned that a mission is being conducted. Following Japan and Germany statements, Ségolène Royal (Ecology minister) and Emmanuel Macron (Economy minister) want to know how France could adapt to this new business case and play a role. The conclusions are expected in june.
The ambition is to gather french companies and to build a competitive offer. For example, a project is being discussed for the fuel cell stack, with the aim to be ready in 2017. Several companies, including SymbioFCell and Michelin, have been contacted. There is also a project about high pressure tanks, including two french SMEs, Raigi and Stelia Composites.
Although french carmarkers are not eager to offer fuel cell on their models, hydrogen may be an alternative for fleets. A fuel cell used as range extender makes sense for delivery vehicles, especially for the french Mail service (La Poste). The ministers are thinking to other applications, such as transportation (buses for instance) or residential applications.
At the moment, no decision has been made concerning the fuelling infrastructure.