On September 8, the government specified its ambitions for hydrogen within the economic stimulus plan. Thus, out of the €100 billion plan, €2 billion are dedicated to hydrogen for the period 2020-2022, an amount that should reach €7.2 billion by 2030.
The economic stimulus plan recently announced by the French government includes a major investment in hydrogen. These investments reflect the ambition to develop a real green hydrogen industry in France. €1.5 billion will be invested in industrial projects to reduce the use of fossil hydrogen and decarbonize production.
The government is also targeting the use of hydrogen for heavy transport, which accounted for nearly 20% of CO2 emissions in France in 2019, as well as aviation, by developing carbon-neutral aircraft by 2035. To achieve this, the government is particularly thinking about future “giga-plants” of fuel cells to power the hydrogen vehicles, which will be increasingly numerous in the coming years.
Thus, the development of a real green hydrogen industry would enable a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, with the aim of becoming a carbon neutral economy by 2050.
Projects in land transports, aeronautics, maritime and even space:
Part of the investments of the stimulus plan will be dedicated to the decarbonization of space. Indeed, an industrial project to produce green hydrogen is planned from the end of 2020 at the ArianeGroup site in Vernon, the largest hydrogen test center in Europe. On September 10, Engie and ArianeGroup announced a partnership to develop competitive green hydrogen liquefiers to power hydrogen-powered spacecraft, such as the Ariane space rocket.
Other uses of hydrogen are also planned to be financed by the plan, especially in the aeronautics, automotive and maritime sectors. Transportation is currently 92% dependent on oil. In addition, the growth of world economies should lead to a considerable increase in the vehicle fleet by 2030, with 1.5 billion vehicles worldwide. Through various industrial projects and economic measures, the recovery plan thus aims to promote and significantly develop sustainable mobility in France.
Unlike countries such as South Korea and Japan, the French hydrogen industry is only emerging. The €7.2 billion of investments dedicated to French hydrogen between now and 2030 will therefore enable the French hydrogen industry to develop substantially over the next few years, like our German neighbors.
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