France wants to produce “clean hydrogen” from nuclear power, with Germany

The recovery plan for the French economy will include elements of development in hydrogen as part of a partnership with Germany, said Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of Economy and Finance, on Tuesday.

While France has set itself the objective of regular funding of 100 million euros per year in favor of hydrogen in 2018, Germany announced in June that it planned to invest 9 billion in this molecule, which can be used for the production or storage of energy and which, produced from renewable energies, is carbon neutral.

Bruno Le Maire asserts himself “nuclear defender”

Referring to the possibility that France produces its own “clean hydrogen” from its nuclear electricity, the minister also reiterated that it kept “all its relevance” in the long term.

"I am a defender of nuclear power. Like many scientists who are much more experienced than I am because nuclear power does not emit CO2 and that today [it] has two advantages: [it] allows us to be one of the countries that emits the least CO2 for its electricity production and that guarantees us something that everyone talks about morning noon and evening, it guarantees us our independence, "he said.

After Fessenheim and before Flamanville, no new reactors

While EDF has just disconnected the Fessenheim (Haut-Rhin) power station, the oldest nuclear power plant in France, from the national grid, Bruno Le Maire also reiterated that the government would only take a decision on the construction of new EPR reactors when that of Flamanville (Manche) would come into operation.

The Minister recalled in passing his wish that the deadlines for the Flamanville EPR “be respected”, the commissioning of the reactor is now scheduled for late 2022 after multiple delays and budget overruns.

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