Toulouse and the Occitanie region committed to the production of green hydrogen, the energy of tomorrow
The Occitanie Regional Council, aware of the potential of carbon-free hydrogen which could, by 2050, meet 20% of national energy demand, and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 55 million tonnes, was the first adopt a global and operational strategy by launching its Green Hydrogen Plan in 2019. Budget: 150 million euros in the fuel of tomorrow.
H2 as hydrogen. Obviously the fuel of tomorrow, totally “green”, which is preparing to gradually replace fossil fuels, emitting greenhouse gases which are largely the cause of global warming. And then hydrogen is present everywhere in the universe, which gives it an inexhaustible use. In this energy revolution, the Occitanie region and the city of Toulouse want to play a leading role.
The regional council in any case promised the full price: 150 million euros devoted to the “Green hydrogen plan”. Which could generate up to “1 billion euros of investment and the creation of thousands of jobs,” says the community.
“It is the first at the level of a region, we are pioneers in France, recently wrote the President of the Region Carole Delga. The first region with positive energy in Europe. We are present throughout the hydrogen chain, from production to use, including distribution “.
Supply the airport shuttles
A whole sector is being set up, from Béziers with the company to Albi, where industrial training is provided for the students of the Louis Rascol high school, to Toulouse, finally, where the main one is yet to come: the implementation service soon from Hyport, the world’s first hydrogen production unit installed at Toulouse-Blagnac airport.
The fuel produced in Toulouse “could be used initially to supply the shuttles which transport passengers from the airport, then for the civil transport sector”, indicates the communication department of Engie Solutions which, with the regional energy agency climat (Arec), heads the company Hyport.
But also, by 2024, in Toulouse, the creation of the largest European center for research, testing and technological innovation dedicated to green hydrogen, in the form of a “technocampus”. The latter is planned to be located at the former military airport of Francazal, straddling Cugnaux and Portet-sur-Garonne.
Meet 20% of energy demand
We must also count on development research with many laboratories already in the loop: the CEA Tech in Toulouse and Montpellier, the Ecole des Mines d’Albi or the LAPLACE (Plasma and Energy Conversion Laboratory) in Toulouse.
The objective set by the players in the energy sector is not for tomorrow. “Carbon-free hydrogen which could, by 2050, meet 20% of national energy demand, and reduce annual Co² emissions by 55 million tonnes”, assures the Occitanie Region.
By 2030, the region is counting on several large-scale projects: the creation of two green hydrogen production plants, 55 green hydrogen production and distribution stations; The construction of 10 electrolysers; The acquisition of 3,250 hydrogen vehicles. With the key, the promise of “the creation of thousands of jobs and the development of a training offer adapted to meet the needs for new skills”.
Trains, buses, planes, vehicles …
Along with the creation in Occitania of two green hydrogen production plants, 55 production and distribution stations, the construction of 10 electrolysers and the acquisition of 3,250 hydrogen vehicles, the Region is also banking on the “H2 Train”. Soon, we will be able to travel by hydrogen train when the Montréjeau – Luchon line reopens. The “Train H2” is the result of a partnership between several communities (Occitanie, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est and Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes Regions) to develop the production of hydrogen trains. The communities have 14 trainsets which will be deployed on their territory. Three trainsets were ordered from Alstom by the Region for an amount of 42 million euros. For fans of the plane, Airbus is also in the race for the energy transition with its future “zero carbon hydrogen emission aircraft”.