- The Genvia venture will focus on the development and industrial deployment of a game-changing electrolyzer technology for clean hydrogen production
PARIS–Schlumberger New Energy, the CEA and Partners announced today the European Commission’s approval for the formation of Genvia, a clean hydrogen production technology venture. In a unique private-public partnership model, Genvia combines the expertise and experience of Schlumberger and the CEA with VINCI Construction, Vicat, and the investment vehicle of the French Occitanie Region, l’Agence Régionale de l’Energie et du Climat (AREC).
Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier and a key component of the energy transition for many countries targeting carbon neutrality by 2050. The new venture will accelerate the development and the first industrial deployment of the CEA high-temperature reversible solid oxide electrolyzer technology, as the most efficient and cost-effective technology for clean hydrogen production.
Broad and deep alliances are critical to reach hydrogen production goals, evolving applications and creating a new energy infrastructure.
“We are very pleased to be working alongside such experienced and strong partners as we strive to develop technologies that enable decarbonization. Together, building on a set of technologies developed by the CEA over the last decade, we have ambitious growth plans for a technology that we expect to be a game-changer in the production of clean hydrogen. This initiative demonstrates an alignment of environmental and economic growth ambitions that is important for France and Europe in support of the government’s and the Commission’s recovery plan,” said François Jacq, Chairman of the CEA.
Genvia technology aims to achieve the highest system efficiency, resulting in significantly less electricity use per kg of hydrogen produced. The technology is the first of its kind that is fully reversible, giving it the flexibility to switch between electrolysis and fuel cell functions.
“Clean hydrogen production is critical for the world to meet its energy transition goals. Genvia will bring together outstanding science and advanced engineering to accelerate the development of a core technology to unlock affordable hydrogen production, energy storage and fuel applications at scale,” said Olivier Le Peuch, Chief Executive Officer, Schlumberger.
The manufacturing of solid oxide electrolyzers will occur at the Genvia gigafactory, which will be established in Béziers, Occitanie Region, France. The center for technology transfer will be located at the CEA site in Grenoble, France.
About Schlumberger New Energy
Schlumberger is the world’s leading provider of technology to the global energy industry. Schlumberger New Energy explores new avenues of growth by leveraging Schlumberger’s intellectual and business capital in emerging markets, with a focus on low-carbon and carbon-neutral energy technologies. Its activities include ventures in the domains of hydrogen, lithium, carbon capture and sequestration, geothermal power and geo-energy for heating and cooling buildings.
The CEA is a key player in research, development and innovation in four main areas: energy transition, digital transition, technology for the medicine of the future and defense and security. With a workforce of 20,000 people, based in nine French sites equipped with very large-scale research infrastructures, the CEA actively participates in collaborative projects with a large number of academic and industrial partners, in France, Europe and worldwide. According to the Clarivate 2019 ranking, the CEA is the first French research organization, in terms of number of patents filed in France and Europe.
About VINCI Construction
A subsidiary of VINCI, VINCI Construction, is a global player and European leader, active on five continents, with more than 72,000 employees and 830 companies generating revenue of €14.9 billion in 2019. Structured according to an integrated model, the company has the capacity to intervene over the entire life cycle of a structure (finance, design, construction, maintenance) in eight sectors: buildings, functional structures, transport infrastructure, hydraulic engineering, renewable and nuclear energy, the environment, hydrogen and gas sector, and mines.
With almost 200 years of experience, the Vicat Group develops a top-class offering of mineral and bio-based construction materials. In following the trajectory it has set itself for carbon neutrality throughout its value chain, the Group operates three core lines of business: Cement, Ready-Mixed Concrete and Aggregates, as well as related activities. Still family-run, the Company has almost 9,950 employees, and generated consolidated sales of €2.7 billion in 2019. The Group operates in twelve countries: France, Switzerland, Italy, the United States, Turkey, Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Kazakhstan, India and Brazil. More than 60% of its sales are generated outside France.
About AREC, an investment company in the Occitanie Region
Tool of the Occitanie Region, AREC suggests energy transition solutions to territories. The Agency endeavors to offer actors adapted solutions, whether they are turnkey or specific, depending on the contexts of the actors in the territories of Occitanie. Neutral, it has an objective vision of solutions. A trusted third party for regional actors and serving the general interest, AREC’s added value lies in its unique support across the entire energy transition value chain: from upstream to the realization and financing of projects. The Occitanie Region has also always positioned itself as a pioneer in the development of the hydrogen sector in its territory. This wish was illustrated in 2019 by the adoption of an unprecedented Green Hydrogen Plan, endowed with €150 million, which should make it possible to achieve the objective of becoming the leading positive energy region in Europe by 2050. AREC has actively participated in the deployment of the “green hydrogen” sector in the region since 2016, as an actor of the energy transition in Occitanie. The Agency provides technical support and invests in innovative production and distribution projects in order to deploy hydrogen ecosystems that respect the environment. Thus, AREC is already involved in major projects in Occitanie such as the HyPort project and the Hyd’Occ project.