PARIS (Reuters) – The recovery plan for the French economy will include elements of development in hydrogen as part of a partnership with Germany, said Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finances.
While France has set itself the objective of regular funding of 100 million euros per year in favor of hydrogen in 2018, Germany announced in June that it planned to invest 9 billion in this molecule, which can be used for the production or storage of energy and which, produced from renewable energies, is carbon neutral.
“Everyone tells me ‘we have to develop hydrogen’, I am very much in favor of it. In the recovery plan, there will also be very strong elements to develop the hydrogen sector and we will do this in conjunction with Germany, in a partnership with Germany ”, said Bruno Le Maire on BFM TV .
Referring to the possibility that France produces its own “clean hydrogen” from its nuclear electricity, the minister also reaffirmed that it kept “all its relevance” in the long term.
“I am a nuclear advocate. Like many scientists much more experienced than me are because nuclear does not emit CO2 and today (it) has two advantages: (it) allows us to be one of the countries which emits the less CO2 for its electricity production and that guarantees us something that everyone talks about morning noon and evening, it guarantees our independence ”, he said
While EDF has just disconnected the Fessenheim (Haut-Rhin) power station, the oldest nuclear power plant in France, from the national grid, Bruno Le Maire also reiterated that the government would only take a decision on the construction of new EPR reactors when that of Flamanville (Manche) would come into operation.
The Minister recalled in passing his wish that the deadlines for the Flamanville EPR “be respected”, the commissioning of the reactor is now scheduled for late 2022 after multiple delays and budget overruns.
Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, edited by Blandine Hénault