Don’t look up! Focus on what is happening in the French hydrogen industry

Mar 24, 2022 | Industry & Cleantech, Invest in France

As the novelist from Nantes (Pays de la Loire, France), Jules Verne, foresaw more than 200 years ago, decarbonized hydrogen will be the low-carbon energy of tomorrow to achieve global emission reduction targets. For this purpose, France will invest €9,1 billion in hydrogen to decarbonize its industry and mobility! The Pays de la Loire Region accelerates to position itself as a leader across the whole value chain. They support businesses through public funding and a virtuous ecosystem created around pioneering companies like the upcoming unicorn Lhyfe!

France invests €9,1 billion in carbon-free hydrogen to decarbonize industry

The Government wants to massively accelerate its support for developing a domestic carbon-free hydrogen industry in France to generate growth and up to 150,000 jobs. The objective is to position France at the cutting edge of disruptive technologies and accomplish the ecological transition.

For this purpose, €9,1 billion of public investment will be injected to develop decarbonized hydrogen by 2030 (including €7,2 billion from the France Relance recovery plan decided in 2020 and an additional €1,9 billion in the investment plan France 2030 announced in November 2021). The Government has targeted several priority areas to promote carbon-free hydrogen industry in France:

  • Develop a French electrolysis industry: upgrade the electrolysis-based decarbonized hydrogen production to an industrial scale and reach 6.5GW of electrolyzer installed capacity by 2030.
  • Decarbonise industry by phasing out carbon-based hydrogen: the priority is to use decarbonized hydrogen in the industry, especially in refining, chemicals (including ammonia and methanol production in particular), and other sectors such as electronics and agri-food.
  • Develop heavy vehicle sector using decarbonized hydrogen: to complement electric batteries with hydrogen storage technologies, France has targeted the heavy vehicle sector, including commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, buses, trains, or hydrogen-powered ships. One of the main ambitions is also to launch a hydrogen-powered aircraft by 2035, in line with the industrial roadmap of Airbus.
  • Support research, innovation, and skills development: France will support R&D efforts in the hydrogen field to foster the industrialization of new technologies. A strategic effort will focus on decarbonizing the gas industry, which raises the question of repurposing existing natural gas transmission infrastructures to carry hydrogen.

Fifteen projects related to decarbonized hydrogen have already been submitted to the European Commission as ‘Important Projects of Common European Interest’ (IPCEI). Launched by 23 EU Member States and Norway, this mechanism allows public money to support not immediately profitable industrial projects. They meet three objectives: 1/ the production of electrolyzers; 2/ the development of equipment for hydrogen-powered mobility (such as fuel cells); 3/ the decarbonization of industrial sites. The US and China had already set up similar systems!


Learn more on the decarbonized hydrogen strategies in France and the Pays de la Loire Region by joining our webinar on April 28th. We will share comprehensive information with experts on funding, opportunities, and comparative feedback from the Nordic Managing Director of Lhyfe.

Going to market - Hydrogen in France and Pays de la Loire - Webinar

€100 million for decarbonized hydrogen in Pays de la Loire

The Pays de la Loire Region will mobilize 100 million euros by 2030 to support the development of its decarbonized hydrogen industry. The aim is to accelerate the emergence of local value chains and position the area as the leading hydrogen region in France. The Region will focus on four priorities:

  • Developing production and the network of distribution stations: the Region will invest €12 million to support the construction of 15 hydrogen production and distribution stations. It will also support the deployment of initiatives across the whole area, including the “H2 Loire Valley” and “H2 Ouest” projects, including the ambitious project of the startup Lhyfe.
  • Developing hydrogen transportation: the Region will invest €17 million to support acquiring the first 500 land vehicles and deploying hydrogen public transport, such as buses, trains, or catamarans.
  • Creation of a hydrogen R&D cluster: €38 million will go to research and development. For example, the Region will support the transformation of the Nantes-Saint-Nazaire harbor to become the first major hydrogen port on the Atlantic coast. A new regional Technocampus dedicated to energy will also bring together all the industry stakeholders on a single site.
  • To establish the “Pays de la Loire Hydrogen Valley” internationally: the Region will lead the network of stakeholders to structure the collective ambition, promote this attractiveness of the ecosystem, and foster international investment in the local industry.


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Article written by Samy Trabelsi

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