EDF launches a “hydrogen plan” to become one of the European leaders in the sector by 2030

published on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 10:05 PM

EDF on Wednesday launched a “hydrogen plan” to become “one of the leaders” in low-carbon hydrogen production in Europe by 2030, with an investment of two to three billion euros “co-financed” by the energy company.

These projects “will be developed and co-financed within the framework of industrial partnerships and benefit from national and European support mechanisms,” the group said.

EDF plans to specifically expand its low-carbon electricity generation fleet – nuclear and renewable – to generate hydrogen through water electrolysis through its dedicated subsidiary Hynamics.

“Three gigawatts (GW) will make it possible to produce 450,000 tons of hydrogen per year and save 3 million tons of carbon. 3 Mt of carbon, that is half of the maritime traffic,” said Franco-international Alexandre Perra at a press conference. Executive Director of Innovation, Corporate Responsibility and Strategy at EDF.

“We aim to produce 100% low-carbon hydrogen, which will be the vector for achieving carbon neutrality for the most difficult-to-decarbonize applications,” added the Industry of Heavy Mobility.

Today, most of the 80 million tons of hydrogen produced worldwide is produced from fossil fuels, especially gas.

“The production of 100% low-carbon hydrogen is not science fiction, we already have projects underway,” said Christelle Rouillé, general manager of Hynamics.

In particular, she recalled the start of hydrogen production in Auxerre for the first five buses in the agglomeration to use this energy.

“We aim to grow this first installation, in particular through the arrival of hydrogen trains,” which will arrive in France shortly, she added.

Another partnership, with the cement manufacturer Vicat in Isère, aims to produce e-methanol for the maritime world, from the CO2 emitted by the smoke from the cement factory and the hydrogen produced nearby.

In total, according to Mr. Perra, EDF has “1 GW of projects in the pipeline”, spread over some sixty projects around the world.

EDF also took stock of its announced plans to develop renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind energy.

“The group invested nearly two billion euros in renewable energy last year,” said Bruno Bensasson, CEO of EDF Renewables, referring to an “acceleration” in the growth of this activity, which he plans to continue despite a “complicated financial situation for EDF.

“As for EDF Renewables, we will be able to greatly increase our development and capital expenditures to almost 30%, it is very clear evidence of the group’s investments in this area,” he said.

The group, which expects a dip in its performance in 2022, will face problems in its nuclear production and government measures to limit the increase in its electricity bill.

The gross operating surplus (EBITDA) is to be reduced by more than 26 billion euros in the 2022 financial year, which the State, its main shareholder, has decided to get hold of this spring through a capital increase. to secure its financing capacity in the short and medium term”.

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