We know a bit more about the new French hydrogen strategy

French Hydrogen strategy
We know a bit more about the new French hydrogen strategy

While Symbio‘s plant was inaugurated, the French Minister for Energy Transition outlined the forthcoming review of the French hydrogen strategy.

Agnès Pannier-Runacher began her speech with a touch of humour, presenting herself as the ‘feminine guarantor’ of an all-male assembly in previous speeches. She went on to express her “desire to return to industry” when she saw this gigafactory, which was support by the French government since day one. She added that “with Europe, we can win and we are capable of regaining control.”

The Minister then outlined “the framework of the future French hydrogen strategy.” She recalled the ambitions of France, which wants to be a leader in hydrogen and provides itself with the means to acheive this. The country has planned €9 billion by 2030 (about $9.7 billion), and has high-performance and innovative players. She then mentioned the agenda. Mrs Pannier-Runacher began by talking about the bill on energy sovereignty, scheduled for 2024.

10 GW by 2035

As for the ambitions, we already knew that France targets 6.5 GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030. There is now talk of 10 GW by 2035. The Minister wants to reserve hydrogen for “the most important uses.” She also mentioned the transport infrastructure, with 500 km of pipelines in the short term to link production hubs to end customers. In this respect, she welcomed Europe’s decision to select certain projects for funding, including the BarMar part of H2MED. Ms Pannier-Runacher also alluded to the €4 billion (about €4.4 billion) to support the production of low-carbon hydrogen as well as to the TIRUERT* tax, which reduces the gap between the real price of hydrogen by €5 per kilo.

As for Industry Minister Roland Lescure, he welcomed the political consensus behind Symbio’s project.

Will the French hydrogen strategy support mobility?

The ceremony concluded with a video message from Bruno Le Maire. The French Minister for the Economy stressed that without hydrogen it would not be possible to decarbonise mobility. He mentioned support for mobility, particularly for light and heavy commercial vehicles. However, manufacturers were not completely convinced by this point. When interviewed by Hydrogen Today, the top executives** said they are waiting for clarification. “If we favour hydrogen for steel production, we run the risk of having more expensive steel, which will make our vehicles more expensive, even though we are doing everything we can to make them affordable,” says Mr Koller. We can’t afford another inflation. As for Florent Ménégaux, he put things into perspective. He pointed out that hydrogen was not even talked about by the public authorities 4 years ago.

Earlier, Carlos Tavares said that at least €30,000 in subsidies was needed to cover the extra start-up costs of hydrogen mobility.

*TIRUERT: Incentive tax on the use of renewable energy in transport

**Philippe Rosier for Symbio, Patrick Koller for Forvia, Florent Ménégaux for Michelin and Carlos Tavares for Stellantis

Do you want to learn more about Stellantis, Symbio, Forvia and Michelin? Then our latest articles on these companies should interest you. You can read our latest article about Stellantis here and about Symbio there. And our latest article about Forvia here and about Michelin there.

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King 

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About the author

Logan King

Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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