Since yesterday, Occitania, the new French region which merges the former Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc Roussillon regions, has officially and publicly become a “Hydrogen Territory”.

At the Hotel de Region in Toulouse, on November 11th 2016, Seiya Consulting presented the regional strategy for hydrogen energy and its fuel cell applications, that was proposed after several months of intense work and consultations of dozens of key players in the region.

The event gathered more than 300 people, with representatives from major industrials and energy utilities such as Engie, EDF, Safran, Alstom, Michelin, amongst many others; representatives from governmental agencies (Ademe) and the administration representing the French state in the region; as well as lots of representatives from local authorities, municipalities, enterprises, innovators and academic research.

The President of the Region, Carole Delga, former minister; the vice President Nadia Pellefigue, in charge of economic development, innovation, research and higher education; and the Vice President Agnès Langevine, in charge of the ecology and energy transition, bio-diversity and circular economy, clearly exposed and explained the full commitment of Occitania to the development of the hydrogen economy in the territory.

It was also a time for a full day of high value round-tables, presentations and debates, discussing notably the four pillars of the regional strategy issued from our consultancy work: ports and airports ecosystems, the development of bio-hydrogen, sustainable and innovative green tourism, and finally renewable energy storage.

It was also the time to present and celebrate HyPort, the very first and large-scale, ambitious, and very structuring project putting this strategy into practice. Madeeli, the regional economic agency, with the help of Seiya Consulting,  coordinated the regional effort this past summer to compete for the national Call for Projects “Hydrogen Territories” announced by the French government earlier in May. All the French regions pushed their ideas and champions, and 30 meta-projects totalling 100 sub-projects were presented.

Segolene Royale, French Minister of Ecology, Energy and biodiversity, as already reported by H2 Today, announced the winners on November the 3rd. Occitania has been awarded with its meta-project HyPort, and it represents the largest packages of initiatives of all territories in competition, with the biggest number of sub-projects accepted, totalling 70 M€, combining advanced innovation in hydrogen fuel cell applications for aeronautics, green hydrogen production and H2 mobility deployment for Toulouse international airport, Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées regional airport, and the vast urban or rural and touristic perimeters connected to them.