France consumes 900,000 tonnes of hydrogen each year, which contributes to the production of steel, chemicals, and refining, but is responsible for 3% of national emissions, equal to 11.5 million tonnes of CO2.
Strengthened by the approval of nuclear power as a source of renewable energy, France is now aiming to gradually replace gray with green hydrogen (GH2).
Although the second energy vector is significantly less economical than the first, more substantial production of it, as supported by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, could account for 20% of the effort to limit global warming to 2%.
Commitments and thriving prospects
The France Hydrogen Association is committed to reducing the production of gray hydrogen to 1.07 million tonnes per year by 2030. At the same time, the European Union is pushing for France to produce 10 million tonnes of green hydrogen and import the same amount.
The goal seems achievable. The country is, in fact, among the world leaders in terms of electrolysis volumes, of which it holds 6%, the largest share in the world. The implementation of this sector would guarantee the creation of more than 50,000 jobs, for a maximum of 150,000, and would ensure France’s key international role in GH2 production.
A five-year preparation
The country has always been attentive to this energy potential, adopting a hydrogen plan in 2018 and reinforcing the related national strategy over the 2020/2023 period.
The French effort is also evident at major international trade shows, such as Global Industrie, held in Lyon in early March 2023. A strategic year for the energy sector, but also for the automotive industry. The discussions on the hydrogen vehicles are more than ever coming alive.