hydrogen sector
Image credit: EIB

France Hydrogène, an association for hydrogen and fuel cells, has signed a deal with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support players in the hydrogen sector.

Players in the hydrogen sector will benefit from the collaboration through access to EIB’s financing solutions and France Hydrogène’s technical expertise.

The EIB will work closely with France Hydrogène and its members on sharing knowledge and best practices to facilitate access to the most suitable financing for proposed hydrogen projects and thus identify those that could be eligible for EIB financing. This close cooperation will also make it possible to identify funding deficits in this emerging sector so that they can be addressed by the introduction of new financial instruments.

The EIB signed the agreement as part of its InnovFin Advisory Programme, which is supported by the European Commission to help speed up the financing of hydrogen projects.

The deal is fully in line with the “National Strategy for the Development of Carbon-Free Hydrogen in France”.

The law prepares the ground for a new era for hydrogen as a future strategic industry in France and the European Union.

The agreement is part of efforts by the organisations to play a key role in accelerating the energy transition and helping address climate change.

Hydrogen technologies play a major role in accelerating the energy transition, but require scale-up and substantial investment. For this reason, it is necessary to support project promoters throughout the study and feasibility phase of their project, as well as the funding research phase.

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EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, said: “This agreement with France Hydrogène marks a milestone in the development of hydrogen projects in France. Tackling the climate emergency represents a huge challenge and innovative solutions need to be developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Thanks to our expertise as the EU climate bank, we hope that many project promoters will receive personalised advisory support and benefit from facilitated financing.

“I also welcome the European Commission’s extensive support for this agreement. The development of the hydrogen market in France is expected to have a positive impact on climate and industrial development in France and the European Union. It is by pooling our strengths and skills that we will overcome the climate challenge.”

Philippe Boucly, chairman of France Hydrogène, adds: “To meet the targets of the 2030 Energy and Climate Act, public and private investment needs have been estimated at nearly €24 billion ($28.4 billion) over the coming decade. Like the European Commission and other governments, the French government has announced a national strategy for the development of carbon-free hydrogen with financial support of €7.2 billion ($8.5 billion) over 10 years.

“The partnership agreement signed today with the EIB gives a further positive signal for the deployment and scale-up of hydrogen technologies in France and Europe. The goal is for the players in our sector to hold all the cards and to receive support in deploying projects, supporting new innovations and finding industrial solutions in order to reduce costs and fast become more competitive in Europe and on the international market. France Hydrogène and the EIB intend to collaborate effectively to this end.”