HYDROGEN: FRENCH AuRA REGION TAKES THE LEAD
The Auvergne Rhône Alpes region has set itself the ambition of being France and Europe’s leading region in hydrogen deployment. The impetus has been gathering pace since 2017, with innovative projects between the public and private sectors, backing from the EU, and concrete achievements already in place. We summarize the advances for you.
“Zero emission Valley” or carbon-free transportation
With its “Zero emission Valley” project, the AuRA Region provides the means to go with its ambition. The 2021 targets are to bring 20 hydrogen distribution stations on line and deploy 1000 fuel-cell vehicles and 15 electrolysers, to replace 4.3 million litres of diesel oil with hydrogen, and to enable a 13,000-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions.
By ensuring hydrogen production and vehicle development go hand in hand, “Zero Emission Valley” paves the way for rapid economic equilibrium, a major factor in stimulating the development of this energy.
The first station, built by Savoy company Atawey, will be in operation at the Landiers Nord business park in La Motte Servolex by November, 2019 and sport the “Hy” banner. This will be the first in-situ production-distribution unit based on electrolysis of water. Running on electricity from renewable sources, the station will be able to fill up fifty or so vehicles per day. Fifteen businesses and local authorities in the Chambery-Grand Lac economic area have already committed to acquiring a total of forty vehicles.
To implement this project, a successful entry in the EU’s Blending Call contest, the Region has set up the Hympulsion company with investment from public and private shareholders. Since November, 2018, Engie, Michelin, and several banks have joined the Region and the EU to provide Hympulsion with a 50-million-euro budget.
Alongside this, the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region is partly subsidizing the purchase of the first thousand utility vehicles or light vans for work use (local authorities or associations), which undertake to drive at least 8,000 kilometres yearly.
Co-piloting hydrogen deployment in Europe
Identified by the EU thanks to its “Zero Emission Valley” project, the AuRA region has joined forces with Normandy in France, Aragon in Spain, and North Netherlands to co-pilot European development of this future-facing energy. As winners of last June’s “3S Hydrogen Valleys” project, these regions will run a European platform that has set ambitious objectives: to accelerate the transition of hydrogen technologies from the laboratory to the market by boosting access to European level funding while helping SMBs and start-ups overcome obstacles to their development and market expansion.
DMany stakeholders from Auvergne Rhône Alpes have mobilized their forces to provide the necessary expertise: EDF, Air Liquide, GRT Gaz, Mc Phy, Symbio Fcell, Atawey and others. CEA Liten, CNRS, and Grenoble INP will in turn be providing resources for research and technology.
Picture credit : Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes