French government announces support for hydrogen projects

Jake Stones


LONDON (ICIS)–On 23 October the French government announced a request for hydrogen projects looking for state support, following the publication of its strategy for the technology on 8 September.

It will look to fund hydrogen developments in two categories.


The first category is called “technological bricks and demonstrators”, with €2-5m available per project.

Projects in this category should improve components and systems used for producing and transporting hydrogen, as well as developing end user cases.

They could include designs for new vehicles, trains or maritime vessels, which were referenced in the country’s hydrogen strategy.

A further aspect will be support for large-scale pilots, with a particular focus on electrolyser capacity facilities above 20MW.

This is particularly important if the EU is to develop cost-efficient electrolysis technology, building up to the 40GW of capacity expected by the European Commission by 2030.

The total value of potential support was not announced and applicants in this category must apply by 31 December 2022.


This category focuses on developing renewable or carbon-free hydrogen supply and distribution within the industrial and transport sectors.

The French strategy outlines these areas as the primary focus for carbon-free hydrogen.

A key aspect of these kinds of project will be to bring communities and industrial participants from the same area together, developing large-scale “ecosystems” for hydrogen production and reducing costs via economies of scale.

There were several project release dates in this category, which were 17 December, 16 March 2021 and 14 September 2021.


France’s September pledge contained one of Europe’s most ambitious electrolyser capacity targets.

The country is planning to bring 6.5GW online by the end of the decade.

A key to its strategy is a focus on decarbonising transport and industry with what it refers to as “carbon-free” hydrogen.

The terminology suggests electricity feeding electrolysers may come from nuclear power, as well as renewables.


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