By 2050, hydrogen (H2) could account for 20% of France’s energy demand and power 18% of vehicles, according to a prospective study conducted by Air Liquide and 12 partners.

At a time when France is reviewing its energy policy in the framework of its Multiannual Energy Plan (Programmation Pluriannuelle de I’Énergie), Air Liquide, along with ten companies representing the entire chain of value of H2, the French Association for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (AFHYPAC) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), have unveiled a study which highlights the role of carbon-free H2 in meeting France’s targets in light of the Paris Agreement.

The report explains the technologies of carbon-free H2 and fuel cells could be major contributors in the realisation of France’s ambitious goals of decarbonisation and open real prospects for ecological growth in the French industry.

It says H2 has a positive effect on limiting global warming and reducing carbon emissions by decarbonising end uses: energy for industry, transporation, building heating and power and as a carbon-free raw material, and by supporting the development of renewable energy sources.

According to the prospective study, “By 2050, decarbonated H2 could account for 20% of France’s energy demand and could cut carbon emissions by 55 million metric tonnes – almost a third of the reduction required under the reference scenario.”

“The H2 industry is expected to generate €40bn of annual revenue and create more than 150,000 jobs by that point.”

“An estimated €8bn initial investment in equipment, infrastructure, and R&D, to scale up production resources, is required by 2028 to quickly reduce the costs involved in H2 technologies.”

Alstom, EDF, Engie, Hyundai Motor Company France, Faurecia, Michelin Group, Plastic Omnium, SNCF, Total and Toyota Motor Europe all participated in the study, which was analysed by McKinsley.

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