Hydrogen as a tool for industry decarbonation in France’s Northern region

Apr 15, 2021 | Industry & Cleantech, Invest in France

The Hauts-de-France Region is a vital energy and industrial platform in Europe. Its intensive industry was the first emitting greenhouse gas player with 31 884 kT CO2 equivalent in 2014, and mobility is coming in second place. Moreover, the Hauts-de-France region has the most emitting industrial sites in Europe. However, in the current context, Hauts-de-France has to present realistic examples of its conversion to a low carbon economy and green hydrogen will play a significant role in this decarbonation process.

France has engaged in a massive plan to become a leading player in the green H2 field, with three main objectives by 2030:  

  1. to achieve mass-production of H2 by electrolysis;
  2. to promote carbon-free H2 fueled heavy mobility;
  3. to develop a fully integrated and competitive sector with 50,000 to 150,000 jobs.

Therefore, France is open to all companies involved in the fight against environmental impacts and dedicated €7 billion to support the green hydrogen initiatives.

Among the hundreds of industrial sites producing hydrogen nationwide, the Hauts-de-France region has dense ecosystems and substantial advantages for hydrogen production, storage, and use. Therefore, this site is a place to consider investing in, especially for Nordic energy companies, which are already advanced in the production and use of hydrogen. 


Learn more about Hauts-de-France’s actions and business opportunities to develop green hydrogen on May 11th, from 11.00-12.30. Business France Nordic will host a webinar on the regional approaches to the French hydrogen strategy 2020-2030. 


👉 Sign up here.

A mature European hydrogen backbone can be created by 2040
(source: Nord France Invest)

Hauts de France and European Hydrogen Network

The Hauts-de-France region, on the move towards hydrogen 

The Hauts-de-France region is committed to a change towards renewable energies. Indeed, France’s leading wind power region benefits from 240 km of hydrogen networks between Hauts-de-France and Northern Europe, allowing for a total annual transit capacity estimated at 250 million Nm3.

Determined to make good use of its strategic location in Europe, the region counts:

  • 8,700km of electrical transmission networks connected to Europe,
  • 4,200km of natural gas transmission networks with two entry sites for Norwegian and Dutch gas at Loon Plage and Taisnières,
  • A 900 MW decarbonated nuclear power plant,
  • An ENR in full development, with 4,900 MW of electricity and 350 MW of biomethane installed.

In the future, the coast of Dunkirk will host a 600 MW offshore wind farm to be operational in 2026.

The region benefits from a robust network in terms of energy and transport infrastructures (maritime, river, road, and rail) and the Gravelines power plant’s presence, which is the most powerful means of production of carbon-free energy in Europe. Providing abundant and very competitive carbon-free electricity, this plant is a real asset for the Hauts-de-France region. The region is also home to the Waziers liquefaction plant, the largest in Europe, dedicated mainly to supplying hydrogen to Ariane Espace.

With many existing infrastructures and networks and a political commitment to make the region a pioneer in hydrogen, the Hauts-de-France region is suited to mass production of hydrogen in the years to come.

Moreover, the region can count on a lively industrial ecosystem that can host strong players in the field.

A third industrial revolution in Hauts-de-France

The Hauts-de-France is willing to undergo a Third Industrial Revolution, “Rev3”, which instills a dynamic of recovery to face the economic, ecological, and social challenges and draws opportunities for growth and better living. 

These projects rely on a solid common political and economic will to transition towards a circular and low-carbon economy. The Rev3 dynamic includes a roadmap for the deployment of renewable energies, of which clean hydrogen is a strategic axis. Therefore, four actions are implemented in favor of the regional hydrogen sector to:

  • structure the industry, its animation and financing engineering;  
  • support projects to produce carbon-free hydrogen and the recovery of non-recovered fatal hydrogen;  
  • be a precursor in the injection of hydrogen into the networks;  
  • develop the uses of low-carbon hydrogen.

Financial and support mechanisms allow the industry to grow in many different fields, such as energy efficiency, transition to renewable energies, energy-producing buildings, energy storage, intelligent distribution networks, mobility of people and goods, and a circular economy.

The Rev3 dynamic comes together with a historic dedicated fund of €650 M of public/private investment per year and already counts 1,200 initiatives.


Learn more about Hauts-de-France’s actions and business opportunities to develop green hydrogen on May 11th, from 11.00-12.30. Business France Nordic will host a webinar on the regional approaches to the French hydrogen strategy 2020-2030. 


👉 Sign up here.

Céline Carlot - Nord France Invest

Your contact at Nord France Invest

Céline Carlot
Project Director
+33 (0)3 59 56 23 07 / + 33 (0)7 77 77 83 46

Article written by Sara Chollet

Maxime Krummenacker - Communications Manager
Communications Manager
Maxime Krummenacker - Communications Manager
Communication Manager