By the time of the next presidential election in 2022, France hopes to have regained the economic growth it last experienced in 2019. In order to stimulate the economy following the COVID-19 lockdown, the French government is rolling out a EUR 100 billion recovery program named France Relance. EUR 2 billion of the funds will be released over the next couple of years to support hydrogen projects. In total, the French government plans to channel EUR 7 billion of investment into this energy carrier in the runup to 2030. Meanwhile over the border, Germany has earmarked funds of EUR 9 billion to bolster its hydrogen sector. These financial stimulus packages and, moreover, the ambitions of these two countries to adopt a leadership stance in the future hydrogen economy, are also resulting in increasing efforts of French and German companies to work together.
Not too long ago, France’s capital had been the venue for the UN Climate Change Conference COP21. Even if hydrogen and fuel cell technology was not a separate item on the agenda, it is a good bet that many of the around 40,000 participants – from government officials to business associations and unions to environmental and religious organizations – have developed a basic understanding of this technology