Hydrogen Projects Are Accelerating,225 Hydrogen Stations Planned by 2025
According to France Hydrogène, the development of carbon-free hydrogen production in France is on track to meet the most ambitious scenario outlined in 2021, with over 250 projects identified and the goal of having 225 hydrogen stations for vehicles by 2025.
The projects listed in the trajectory study published by the association aim to achieve a renewable and low-carbon hydrogen consumption of around 1.07 million tonnes per year by 2030 in France, exceeding the targets set by the National Hydrogen Strategy and approaching those of the Ambition+ scenario for 2030. Most of the projects are focused on the industrial use of hydrogen (815,000 tonnes), with a smaller portion intended for use in transport (230,000 tonnes) or for supplying off-grid users in need of emergency energy or on isolated sites (25,000 tonnes). On the mobility side, the sector is working towards a draft of a national network of 225 charging stations by 2025, with the possibility of having 800 to 1,000 stations by 2030 for light private and utility vehicles, and especially for heavy goods vehicles. Currently, there are around 400 hydrogen vehicles in operation in France, with a goal of 450,000 by 2030. Hydrogen can be produced through various processes, including biomass, but electrolysis of water is the method favored by many in the sector. However, producing 1 million tonnes of hydrogen in 2030 is expected to require over 50 terawatt hours of electricity, or around 10% of the total electricity consumption forecast for that date by the RTE network manager. Industry Minister Roland Lescure has noted that the government has been given six months by the Elysée to draft a strategy for the regulatory framework and access to public subsidies for hydrogen. The sector is also advocating for administrative simplifications, such as dispensing with environmental assessments for production below a certain threshold and increasing storage capabilities. The minister has stated his commitment to ensuring that large electrolyzers can secure competitive long-term contracts, particularly with EDF, in order to provide manufacturers with the most competitive hydrogen possible.