The global hydrogen market, valued at $170.14 billion in 2022, is set to grow at an estimated CAGR of 9.3% to 2030. This growth is driven by increasing demand for cleaner fuels and stringent government regulations aimed at reducing dependence on petroleum products. According to the IEA, hydrogen's role as an energy carrier, although not an energy source in its own right, is expected to contribute 6% to emission reduction measures by 2050 under a "net zero emissions" scenario. At present, most hydrogen production is derived from fossil fuels, which are responsible for significant CO2 emissions. However, advances in low-carbon hydrogen production methods, particularly electrolysis, are set to gain ground as part of efforts to decarbonize heavy industry and long-distance transport.

The Hydrogen Market in France: Growth, Challenges and Prospects

In France, hydrogen production has exceeded 900,000 tonnes per year, with uses predominantly in petroleum desulphurization, fertilizer production and chemicals. Estimates for the French market range from 1.4 to 3.5 billion euros by 2022, with a future projection of 8.5 billion euros in sales by 2030. This growth is underpinned by a national strategy that includes over €3 billion in public funding for low-carbon hydrogen technologies, and the projected creation of over 100,000 jobs in the hydrogen sector by 2030.

The current market structure includes major players like Air Liquide and emerging companies like McPhy, which are focusing on the burgeoning demand for hydrogen and its infrastructure, such as refuelling stations, throughout France : The French hydrogen market: Dynamics and prospects The French hydrogen market is booming, fuelled by both traditional and emerging demand sectors. With robust production in excess of 900,000 tonnes a year, hydrogen in France is mainly used in the desulphurization of petroleum fuels, which accounts for around 60% of its use. Fertilizer production, particularly ammonia, accounts for 25%, followed by various chemical applications (10%). Current production methods rely heavily on fossil fuels, with 94% of hydrogen coming from natural gas, hydrocarbons or coal.

Despite this, the market is moving towards more sustainable and environmentally-friendly production techniques. Although water electrolysis accounts for only 6% of domestic hydrogen production, compared with just 1% worldwide, it is seen as a solution for the future, as it promises massive hydrogen production without CO2 emissions. The cost of "green" hydrogen produced by electrolysis is between 3 and 15 euros per kilogram, which is significantly higher than the cost of 1 to 3 euros per kilogram of "gray" hydrogen produced from steam reforming of natural gas or coal gasification.

In terms of value-added, the French hydrogen market is estimated to be worth between 1.4 and 3.5 billion euros by 2022. With a promising future, the French hydrogen industry could see a monumental increase in value, reaching between 8.5 and 40 billion euros by 2030 and 2050 respectively. This anticipated expansion is expected to stem not only from existing industrial applications, but also from innovative sectors such as renewable energy storage, zero-emission vehicles and low-carbon industrial processes.

Storage and transportation remain difficult aspects of hydrogen use, due to its low density under normal conditions. Various methods are being developed and implemented, including compression for gaseous storage, cryogenic storage in liquid form and absorption in metal hydrides for solid storage. Underground storage in salt caverns is also being considered as a viable option.

Hydrogen's distribution capacity is essential for its use as a fuel. France's strategic plan calls for refueling stations to be set up throughout the country to facilitate the use of hydrogen in transport. However, the distribution of hydrogen refuelling stations remains uneven, and further infrastructure development is needed to encourage widespread adoption. The French hydrogen market has considerable potential as a key player in the global energy transition to sustainability. With the support of public authorities and technological advances, the sector is poised for growth.

As the French hydrogen market prepares for a future of low-carbon energy and innovative industrial applications, several key players dominate the landscape, each bringing unique expertise and strategic initiatives to propel the industry forward.

  • Leading the way is Air Liquide, a household name in industrial gases and a dominant force in hydrogen production. This French multinational has not only established its authority as one of the world's leading producers, but also plays a central role in the advancement of hydrogen technologies. Thanks to its global presence and commitment to sustainable development, Air Liquide is steering the industry towards cleaner production methods and wider adoption of hydrogen as a viable energy carrier.
  • McPhy: Innovating in electrolysis and powering mobility with hydrogen McPhy stands out for its innovation, particularly in the fields of electrolysis and hydrogen refueling infrastructures. Founded with the aim of harnessing the potential of hydrogen for energy storage and clean mobility, McPhy has carved out a niche for itself by manufacturing high-efficiency electrolyzers and developing a network of hydrogen filling stations. Not resting on its laurels, McPhy has inaugurated its new headquarters and plant, a testament to its ambitions to increase production and make a substantial contribution to the country's hydrogen ecosystem.
  • Genvia: A frontier for green hydrogen The fruit of collaboration between the CEA and industrial partners, Genvia is a company whose aim is to industrialize hydrogen production technology through high-temperature electrolysis. The company is the fruit of a strategic alliance between heavyweights such as Schlumberger New Energy and construction giant Vinci, the Vicat group and regional players. Genvia embodies the spirit of innovation that is driving forward the production of green hydrogen and its eventual assimilation into the energy mainstream.
  • Hélion: Accelerating the hydrogen fuel cell movement Hélion, another notable player, completes this list by specializing in hydrogen fuel cells. This player is helping to transform hydrogen energy into clean electricity, pushing back the boundaries of what's possible in power generation and transportation. Hélion's commitment illustrates the multiplicity of hydrogen applications and underlines the role that fuel cells will play in a low-carbon future.

Each of these entities represents not only the strength and diversity of the French hydrogen market, but also a part of a shared vision of the future.each of these entities not only represents the strength and diversity of the French hydrogen market, but also symbolizes a part of a shared vision, that of entering a new era of industrial prowess where hydrogen is at the heart of the economy and society.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Although hydrogen is mainly derived from fossil fuels, its production and consumption represent a real challenge for the development of a greener, more sustainable economy. A renewable gas that emits only water when consumed, hydrogen is today used mainly for chemical and petrochemical applications, notably in fertilizer production or in the oil refining process.oil refining process. Bhile not a source of energy, hydrogen is an energy carrier that must be produced and stored before use. Its energy can be recovered in two ways:

  • by combustion, where one kilo of hydrogen releases three times more energy than one kilo of gasoline, and produces only water ;
  • by using a fuel cell, where hydrogen is coupled with an air supply to produce electricity, releasing only water.

The global market is growing fast, estimated at $170.14 billion in 2022, and is set to expand at a CAGR of 9.3% to 2030. It is made up of major players such as the French group Air Liquide, world leader, McPhy and Hélion. TheEuropean Union and the United States are the main players in the development of policies for this sector.

In France, this market is seen as one of the future, even if the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier is limited for the time being. Its production cost still makes it uncompetitive compared with other types of energy, especially when we're talking about green hydrogen, i.e. produced from renewable energies or emitting very little CO2. However, the French government, in collaboration with the European Commission, is considering long-term strategies for financing private projects to develop the hydrogen industry. In particular, hydrogen-powered mobility is a major issue, with the development of hydrogen filling stations throughout France.

Thanks to advances in electrolysis technology, hydrogen can be produced in a low-carbon, cost-effective way. This energy carrier could play an important role in the renewable energies sector for a variety of uses, such as :

  • to store solar or wind energy, via a fuel cell, and release it ;
  • to power zero-emission vehicles, with the added advantage of a long range;
  • for industrial applications: to decarbonize industrial processes such as fertilizer manufacture, refining, steel and cement.

Research and development are dynamic, supported by the French National Research Agency and the Atomic Energy Council.

1.2 A bright future for the global hydrogen market

In ****, the global hydrogen market is estimated at $***.** billion, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of *.*% until ****.

Global hydrogen market development projections World, **** - ****, in $ billions Source: ****

Growing demand for cleaner fuels and increasingly stringent government regulations to reduce the use of petroleum products are driving the adoption of ...

1.3 A fast-growing French market

Industrial hydrogen production in France totals over ***,*** tonnes a year. The main uses are desulfurization of petroleum fuels (***) account for **% of this production. It generates **.* Mt of CO* emissions, representing around *% of French national emissions [***].

No information is available on the size of the French market, but we can estimate it ...

1.4 France, a country heavily dependent on hydrogen imports

To study French foreign trade in hydrogen, we use the HS code ****** for hydrogen.


French hydrogen exports by value France, **** - ****, in $ millions Source: ****

Between **** and ****, annual French hydrogen exports experienced several variations. A significant drop was observed between **** and ****, with a decrease of $*.*** million, representing a decline rate of ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 France's main hydrogen customer sectors

Hydrogen demand in France is still dominated by traditional industrial uses. Indeed,the main market is the desulfurization of petroleum fuels (***).

Main uses for hydrogen France, ****, in Source: ****

These sectors should see their share of hydrogen demand gradually decline as other user sectors such as transport, power generation and heating ...

2.2 Refining and fertilizer production, the two main uses for hydrogen


Hydrogen has a special function in refining, as it removes sulfur from fossil energy sources, a process known as petroleum desulfurization. Introduced at high temperature and pressure, it reacts with the sulfur naturally contained in hydrocarbon molecules to form hydrogen sulfide (***), which is then removed. This makes hydrocarbons less polluting ...

2.3 Replacing traditional industrial sectors with innovative ones

Subject to an ambitious policy and substantial investment, new uses - such as mobility, new industrial processes or injection into gas networks- could gradually replace the traditional uses we mentioned earlier. However, this reversal in demand is likely to take place over the long term, and historical sectors are likely to ...

2.4 The growing use of renewable energies

Hydrogen can be used to store electricity, particularly that produced from renewable energies, and can also be used as a fuel in electric vehicles equipped with fuel cells. This energy carrier could therefore be an essential pillar of the energy transition, provided we decarbonize production, which today remains largely dependent on ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The hydrogen value chain

Source: ****

The hydrogen value chain can be broken down into several stages:

hydrogen production, which can be carbon-based or decarbon-based, depending on the raw material used. Most hydrogen today is produced from fossil fuels (***), but electrolysis is becoming increasingly popular; storage and transport: most often in gaseous form, hydrogen is stored ...

3.2 Hydrogen production in France

Production methods :

France, aware of hydrogen's potential in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting competitiveness, was one of the first countries to actively support this sector. As of ****, resources have been allocated to promoting hydrogen through the Future Investment Program (***).

Currently, hydrogen produced from fossil fuels accounts for the ...

3.3 The difficulties of storing and transporting hydrogen

Hydrogen can only be stored and transported on one condition: by increasing its density.

Under conditions of atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature, it takes **m* to store *kg of hydrogen[***]. To remedy this shortcoming, hydrogen is stored and transported :

in gaseous form: hydrogen can be compressed from a few tens to ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Hydrogen, an energy carrier at a variety of prices

On Earth, hydrogen is essentially found in combined form - with oxygen in water, with carbon. Hydrogen is therefore not an energy source, but an energy carrier. It must be produced by extracting it from its compounds. Then, by bringing it into contact with other chemical elements, such as oxygen, it ...

4.2 Public authorities: essential support for the development of the hydrogen industry

The national strategy for the development of decarbonated hydrogen, announced by the French government on September *, ****, will benefit from * billion euros in public support through to ****. This initiative aims to guarantee France's technological sovereignty and deploy *.* gigawatt-hours of electrolyser capacity across the country. The hydrogen produced will be used to reduce ...

4.3 Hydrogen filling stations still unevenly distributed across France

When it comes to using hydrogen as a fuel, distribution is also of strategic importance, with refueling stations to be set up all over the its review of the national hydrogen strategy, France Hydrogène is proposing a set of targeted measures to optimize the deployment of hydrogen in ...

5 Regulations

5.1 France's energy transition law for green growth

The mobility plan :

As reported by Les Echos, the French energy transition law for green growth has required all companies with more than *** employees to set up a mobility plan for its employees since ****, making their daily commutes more efficient and less polluting.

Formerly known as the PDE (***) obliges companies to ...

5.2 A greener French tax system

It may be interesting to take a look at the tax implications of purchasing or leasing vehicles for companies, using the information provided by Sesame LLD.

Current VAT

vAT on the purchase of private vehicles is not recoverable, except in the case of professions involving the purchase of a vehicle (***).

Taxes ...

6 Positioning the players

6. Segmentation

  • Mc Phy
  • Hydrogenics
  • Linde
  • STEP (Hype)
  • Symbio
  • Ballard Power systems
  • Toyota
  • Faber Cylinders
  • Forvia (ex Faurecia)
  • Hydrogen Council
  • Air Liquide
  • EDF
  • HDF (Hydrogène de France)
  • Atawey
  • Lhyfe
  • Safra
  • Elyse Energie
  • Roth2
  • Genvia
  • Hélion Astom Hydrogen Alsthom
  • Chemours
  • HySiLabs
  • Technip Energie
  • Verso Energy
  • 45-8 Energy
  • Vallourec
  • HEF Groupe

List of charts

  • Global hydrogen market projections
  • Cumulative emissions reduction by mitigation measure in the "zero emissions" scenario
  • Hydrogen sales forecast
  • Main uses of hydrogen
  • Breakdown of consumption volumes by sector in the "Ambition 2030" scenario
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Latest news

Near Lyon, Forvia relies on hemp and recycled materials as alternatives to plastic - 09/12/2023
  • Materi'Act, Forvia's sustainable materials subsidiary
  • The company created by the merger between Faurecia and Hella has already recruited over 120 people, including around twenty PhDs in chemistry, biochemistry, materials and IT.
  • The company expects to employ 400 people by 2025
  • Materi'Act is diversifying: from a supplier of finished products for automotive brands, it is becoming a manufacturer of materials not only for the automotive industry, but also for sports, furniture and construction
  • By 2030, Forvia plans to generate sales of 2 billion euros from this activity, i.e. just under 10% of total sales.
  • The industrial activity is supported by an APM plant for hemp-derived auto parts near Dijon, and a recycled carbon tank plant in Allenjoie (Doubs)
  • Forvia intends to open sites in America and Asia, closer to assembly plants, to reduce the carbon footprint of parts transportation. Materi'Act is also responsible for securing the sourcing of recycled plastic.
Political inauguration of the Symbio gigafactory - 09/12/2023
  • A new Symbio industrial plant was inaugurated on December 5 in Saint-Fons (Rhône, France), with an initial capacity of 16,000 fuel cell systems.
  • The plant employs 750 people on site.
  • Symbio has received nearly 600 million euros in European and national public funding.
  • Investments planned by Symbio between 2021 and 2028 are in the region of one billion euros.
  • Symbio's ambition is to produce 200,000 fuel cell systems a year and generate sales of 1.5 billion by 2030.
  • The first target is to reach production of 50,000 systems a year by 2026.
  • Their partner, Stellantis, has the capacity to assemble 5,000 hydrogen vehicles a year from 2024.
  • Symbio hydrogen-powered vehicles sell for over €100,000
  • The cost of energy represents up to 75% of the cost of hydrogen production.
Storing hydrogen in tubes: Vallourec's idea to get the market off the ground - 06/12/2023
Symbio to produce 50,000 hydrogen fuel cells annually - 06/12/2023
  • Symbio aims to produce 50,000 hydrogen fuel cell systems.
  • The joint venture has earmarked one billion euros for industrial deployment by 2028
  • More than half of this amount comes from the Hydrogen PIIEC, a joint French and European Union funding program.
  • The production site currently employs 650 people, with a further 100 or so working at the Vénissieux site.
  • The French government is supporting the hydrogen industry with a €9 billion plan.
  • Symbio works with around 20 customers.
  • Current production capacity is 5,000 units a year, but only 400 vehicles have been ordered to date.
  • The cost of a hydrogen system is currently around €10,000.
  • Symbio hopes to halve this cost by 2030.
Hydrogen: the Port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire chooses Lhyfe - 28/11/2023
  • Nantes-based Lhyfe has 200 employees.
  • The company is in the process of setting up a 250-megawatt hydrogen and e-fuel production facility, with an annual output of 30,000 tonnes.
  • The plant's maximum daily production capacity will be 85 tonnes.
  • Another 15-megawatt project at Lhyfe in Spain costs 28 million euros.
  • Fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) account for 75% of traffic at the port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire.
45-8 Energy in search of helium and hydrogen - 27/11/2023
  • 45-8 Energy is a company co-founded by Nicolas Pélissier, formerly of Total.
  • The company has raised 32 million euros since its creation in 2017, including 20 million euros last April.
  • The company's first helium deposit will be mined in the Nièvre region, with industrial production scheduled for 2027.
  • The company already has two sites, capable of supplying 30% of the helium needs of French industry.
  • An exploration permit has been obtained at Grand Rieu (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) for hydrogen production, with the potential to supply tens of thousands of metric tons every year.
  • 45-8 Energy is planning a colossal investment, estimated at over one billion euros.
  • The company, which has 32 employees, is aiming for sales of 125 million euros by 2030, three-quarters of which will be generated by helium sales and the remainder by hydrogen.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Mc Phy
STEP (Hype)
Ballard Power systems
Faber Cylinders
Forvia (ex Faurecia)
Hydrogen Council
Air Liquide

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