France will build 6.5GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030 as part of a €7bn ($8.3bn) hydrogen production support scheme.
France will launch a call for proposals later this year to support projects promoting the production and transport of hydrogen, both ministers said. The scheme will allocate €350mn by 2023.
The call for proposals will be followed by an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) next year that will receive €1.5bn in public financing. The IPCEI could support the large-scale industrial use of hydrogen, the construction of electrolyser manufacturing factories or industrialisation of other hydrogen-related technologies.
And the French government will hold a tender in 2022 to introduce a subsidy mechanism for hydrogen production.
The hydrogen scheme is expected to help reduce French greenhouse gas emissions by 6mn t of CO2 equivalent (CO2e)/yr as of 2030.
The government last week unveiled a €100bn economic stimulus package, nearly a third of which is allocated to energy and ecology projects, with hydrogen receiving the largest support. It will grant €470mn to nuclear power with a focus on developing small and medium reactor (SMR) capacity.
A number of European countries have set hydrogen production targets this year. Germany is aiming for 10GW of hydrogen production by 2040, while Spain plans to install 4GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030. Portugal plans to add 15GW of renewables generation capacity, up to 2GW of which is expected to be used for hydrogen electrolysis.