5 plenaries to move the transition forward!

Participating in Hydrogen Business For Climate is the opportunity to attend conferences of high informational level where 30 international experts share their vision, experience and passion.

Opening session


Hydrogen: a commitment for the future of the energy transition

With 470 billion euros committed by the European Commission and ambitious plans (9 billion for Germany, 7 billion for France), there is no longer any doubt that hydrogen is considered today as a pillar for the energetic transition. It is also an integral part of the famous Green Deal, desired by Brussels. And if some try to oppose this energy vector to battery electricity, it is clear that a project of common interest (IPCEI) has been launched for hydrogen with the help of 22 countries. Beyond considerations of sovereignty, the objective is to encourage the emergence of world-class manufacturers to play a major role in the markets. Europe must position itself against competitors such as China, South Korea, and Japan, which have clearly made hydrogen one of their priorities and which have taken the lead in this area. The whole question is how to articulate local initiatives (example in France with Bourgogne-Franche-Comté which has strong ambitions and capitalizes on 20 years of expertise) with the national strategies decided by a growing number of countries of the Union and of course the European authorities. The territories have a role to play. They may even decide to collaborate together, nationally or even internationally.








A global approach to mobility

Complementary to the battery, hydrogen makes it possible to meet immediate needs to decarbonize transport. If we are already seeing the first cars on the road, it is in the field of heavy mobility, in particular on commercial vehicles, buses, and trucks (and freight transport) that this form of energy should develop. Hydrogen offers greater autonomy with the added bonus of a recharging time reduced to a few minutes. It can also play a role in rail transport, as an alternative to Diesel on non-electrified lines. Germany has shown the way. Other countries such as England, Austria, Italy, and France, also consider this mode of transport. We also talk about hydrogen in the air, as evidenced by the French aeronautics recovery plan, which sets the goal of developing a hydrogen Airbus by 2035. Regional planes and drones will also fly using this form of electrification. And the maritime sector, which wants to halve its carbon footprint by 2050, is also ready to adopt hydrogen. From the river barge to the liner and the ferry, technology will be integrated onboard. The players who offer fuel cells and hydrogen tanks have also reviewed their organization. They wish to address all these mobility sectors by sometimes combining their offer with filling stations. This all-around development should help reduce costs more quickly and contribute to the transition to the emergence of a shared distribution network.



Industrialization: going forward with gigafactories

Following the example of battery factories, intended to relocate cell production abandoned for too long in favor of Asia, Europe must equip itself with the means of production to massively produce fuel cells, tanks, and of course batteries electrolysers to produce green hydrogen. Now is the time to switch to Gigawatts. While projects are developing and can even qualify for the IPCEI (project of common interest) initiated by the European Commission, what is the strategy of the industrialists? What place can start-ups take, whose innovative processes can also be deployed at scale? How do these projects fit into the roadmaps drawn up by regions or countries? This round table will provide an update on current projects and possible cooperation between States. Countries with abundant natural resources wish to transform this energy into hydrogen and contribute to the decarbonisation of society. The session will also highlight the interest of re-industrialising in Europe and no longer depending on other continents (as we have seen with the semiconductor crisis which continues to affect certain sectors).





Hydrogen energy production / storage / distribution

Clear priority is given to green hydrogen from renewable energies. A number of projects based on wind and solar energy are being developed to obtain green electricity and thus ensure more virtuous electrolysis. There are even systems to connect wind turbines directly to electrolysers to increase efficiency. Once obtained, this hydrogen can be injected into existing infrastructure such as gas networks. Operators are also keen to adapt their pipelines to distribute the hydrogen more efficiently, which is then mixed with natural gas. Hydrogen can also be provided in short distribution channels. For example, a station attached to a plant that produces green hydrogen, or that itself produces hydrogen on-demand with an electrolyser.

In terms of storage, hydrogen is generally available in a gaseous state (high or low pressure) or in liquid form. An original form of storage consists of using underground salt caverns down to a depth of 2,000 metres. The hydrogen is confined in impermeable layers of salt.



Developing stationary applications

Although still relatively unknown, hydrogen applications are quite varied. Hydrogen is used to supply electricity to off-grid installations, such as mobile phone relays in some countries, or mountain huts. It might also be mix in gas pipes (up to 20%) for cooking or heating.

Obtained from natural gas, hydrogen can be used for heating and hot water without producing CO2 emissions. Eco-neighbourhoods are popping up all across Europe, where positive energy buildings use photovoltaic sensors to produce electricity, and any surplus can then be converted into hydrogen to provide for mobility needs.

Locally, Belfort start-up H2SYS produces hydrogen-powered generators. This product is used to supply energy to construction sites but also to sites in open nature, for sports events or concerts. Larger generators can take over in the event of a power failure in sensitive installations such as hospitals and data centres.