‘Hydrogen has to play a major role in future French energy projects’
By 2025 20% of the energy demand in France can be cared for with hydrogen, while 18% of the vehicles can be propelled by hydrogen by then. Afhypac, an association of a hundred key players promoting hydrogen in France, is using the results of a research study (together with McKinsey) to claim a major role for hydrogen in new durable energy projects.
To succeed, investments have to be done right now, according to a national plan promised by the French government.
Decarbonizing economy and storing energy
Of course we are talking about ‘green’ hydrogen here, produced via electrolysis and sourced out of renewable energies. By doing so the development of renewable energy will be accelerated and the energy storage problem can be resolved by using hydrogen.
According to the Afhypac study 35 TWh could be produced every year from 2050 on and stored as a green gas (hydrogen), representing 8% of the total energy production in France.
Mobility is a major player in this scheme: 10.000 vehicles could drive on hydrogen in 2023 and some 200.000 in 2028. This is particularly interesting for heavier transport means like buses and trucks. The use of hydrogen should be developed with priority in this transport sector.
The agency for the environment and the mastering of energy Ademe reminds that at the moment some 900.000 tons of hydrogen are used in the industry. This gas is still produced out of fossil fuels and represents 7,5% of French emissions. This hydrogen has to turn green.
According to McKinsey, green hydrogen could account for 10% of the total energy consumption of the French industry in 2050. If you link it to CO2 captured on industrial sites, you can also produce methanol, steel and other chemical products without carbon pollution.
The development of this hydrogen industry would employ 150.000 people in the future and generate a 40 billion euro turnover every year. But of course investments are needed, 8 billion euro in 10 years or 800 million every year.
The French industry declares itself ready to do this. In a message to the government – which has to present the new energy plan shortly – they promise to triple their investments if the national plan decides to accelerate the importance accorded to hydrogen as an energy source.