HYDROGEN POLICY: France to Have New National Hydrogen Strategy by the End of H1 2023

By December 8, 2022 3   min read  (447 words)

December 8, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, HYDROGEN POLICY: France to Have New National Hydrogen Strategy by the End of H1 2023

LONDON – France will have an updated national hydrogen strategy by the end of the first half of next year as the Minister for Energy Transition and the Minister Delegate for Industry are to formulate a joint work program.

France originally launched its hydrogen plan in 2018 and then its national hydrogen strategy in 2020, however, “following the remarkable development of the projects carried out by the sector since 2020, an update was necessary,” a press release from the French government said.

The emphasis for the update is towards “decarbonised” or emissions-free hydrogen production which is due to aid the decarbonization of emissions-heavy industries (steelmaking, cement, fertilizers, long-distance transport, aviation).

This follows from the initial hydrogen strategy launched in 2020, where the French government omitted to use reference to renewable hydrogen, instead focusing on carbon-free or zero-carbon hydrogen. The use of such terms is likely associated to the substantial nuclear capacity in France that could produce hydrogen with zero emissions.

A key area of demand-side growth for low-carbon hydrogen in France is for industrial participants. To tackle industrial emissions, France aims to use hydrogen at major industrial basins referred to as “hydrogen hubs”.

Hydrogen hubs have been proposed by a number of countries to date, such as the UK or the US. They consist of areas where hydrogen production is produced in large concentrations at a specific geographical location, usually linked with established or future hydrogen demand.

France is targeting net zero by 2050 and also placed a target on the 50 largest French industrial emitters in November for them to half industry emissions within the next 10 years.


The first version of the hydrogen strategy from France, released in 2020, targeted 6.5GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030. At the time of its publication, this was the largest initial pledge from a member state. Many countries in Europe have aimed to increase their initial hydrogen capacity pledges in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, targeting hydrogen as a means of reducing energy imports.

The original hydrogen strategy also focused solely on domestic hydrogen production, opting not to commit to imports of hydrogen – a route explored by other northwest European member states such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

As such, one potential update of the strategy could see an increase in expected hydrogen production capacity.

Read the most up to date Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industry news at FuelCellsWorks

Given France’s perspective on zero-carbon hydrogen, potentially via nuclear assets, electrolyser projects could run for more hours per year than electrolysers powered with intermittent renewable power. One ICIS analysis showed that given near-max load hours using nuclear power, 6.5GW of electrolyser production capacity would far-surpass increased capacity pledges that aim to use renewable power.



Author FuelCellsWorks

More posts by FuelCellsWorks
error: Alert: Content is protected !!