The French government has announced that €700m ($739m) will be spent in 2024 on a support mechanism to subsidise hydrogen production.

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The allocation is part of a finance bill that is described as a “historic effort of 10 billion additional euros mobilised in the service of ecological planning, including €7bn directly supported by our ministries”.

In September, France revealed that it would spend a combined €4bn to support 1GW of electrolysis capacity over the next three years, with a first tender for 150MW of electrolysers to be held in 2024 — which appears to be where the €700m will be spent — to be followed by auctions of 250MW in 2025 and 600MW in 2026.

With minimum capacity eligible for aid being 30MW, only five developers will be supported by the first tender, with nothing to stop a single project being the sole winner.

“In accordance with the €4bn hydrogen plan announced in September 2023, a support mechanism for hydrogen production, with €0.7bn in 2024, will be opened,” says a 12-page document summarising the €10bn spend in 2024 by the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

It adds: “The procedure to select the winners of the first wave by the end of 2024 has been initiated,” but does not provide further details.

The new funding is solely for hydrogen produced via electrolysers running on either renewable or nuclear energy — with the latter industry also receiving €1.5bn to “relaunch the nuclear sector”.

“The ecological planning announced by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister sets a clear course for all sectors to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, protect biodiversity and adapt to climate change,” said ecological transition minister Christophe Béchu.

France is aiming for 6.5GW of electrolyser capacity to be installed by 2030.