Dijon wants to position itself as the showcase of the hydrogen sector

Dijon wants to position itself as the showcase of the hydrogen sector
Dijon wants to position itself as the showcase of the hydrogen sector

Since 2020, the national hydrogen strategy, currently being revised, has been financed to the tune of 9 billion euros with the objective of gaining technological, industrial and energy sovereignty. This support has made it possible to develop an entire sector driven by public authorities in conjunction with local businesses, whether through manufacturing capacities, massive hydrogen production projects for the decarbonization of industries or even ecosystems combining production , distribution and uses, particularly in road mobility.

However, certain obstacles remain to be removed for the deployment of this new energy. Hence the interest in these “Hydrogen Days in the Territories” (JH2T), which, after Pau in 2023, are taking place in the capital of the Dukes of Burgundy. 800 delegates are expected to attend conferences, feedback, exchanges of good practices and visit key players in the region for a day (Syntec, Sundyne, Inéos Inovyn, the ICB laboratory, or the production station and hydrogen distribution system in Dijon metropolis, etc.)

Burgundy-Franche-Comté: a pioneering region

« Burgundy-Franche-Comté is among the only three regions in France where there is a posted budget and a very clear roadmap », notes Philippe Boucly, president of France Hydrogène. This is why the choice to organize the national conference in Dijon made sense.

The region plans a budget of 100 million euros including, in particular, in Dijon metropolis, the construction of two production and distribution stations – the first of which was inaugurated yesterday – the gradual renewal of its fleet of buses and garbage trucks housewives. Burgundy-Franche-Comté is among the pioneering regions since the first research into fuel cells began almost 40 years ago in the Territoire de Belfort. “ Research coming from the university’s laboratories and which, little by little, led to development, the creation of startups and industrialization », Specifies Marie-Guite Dufay, president of the BFC region. For example, with the recent installation of the McPhy gigafactory, which manufactures electrolysers in Belfort. An entire ecosystem has now been built in this territory, from the manufacturing of components to hydrogen stations.

Thus, the company Gen-Hy based in Doubs, in Allenjoie, which is the first in France to manufacture electrolyser membranes, Forvia (formerly Faurecia) which designs hydrogen tanks in the same place. But also a whole cutting-edge scientific environment such as the ICB laboratory which carries out research on materials for fuel cells, high temperature electrolysers and solid storage or the IstHY, a benchmarking institute in Belfort. It is the only testing, testing and certification center in France for hydrogen storage systems in order to meet regulatory marketing requirements. Previously, products had to be sent to Canada for testing.

Towards a hydrogen school

According to France Hydrogène, the sector currently has 6,500 direct jobs. By 2030, between 50,000 and 100,000 direct or indirect jobs will be generated in the hydrogen sector. The stakes are therefore high to succeed in the long-term deployment of this strategic industrial sector. “ Our focus for this strategy is to anticipate the training needs of manufacturers in this sector », underlines Marie-Guite Dufay. “ We work hand in hand with France Hydrogène, on the basis of a fully certified diagnosis, we could truly become the laboratory of tomorrow’s professions concerning hydrogen » she continues. Knowing that the region already has a range of training courses in the industrial sector which can be “colored” with hydrogen, such as machining, assembly, maintenance skills, etc. There is also a certain number of training courses to anticipate. Also, the region will soon launch a Call for Expressions of Interest (AMI) on the skills and professions of the future. “ The region is in close contact with the State, so that there is a certified hydrogen school here, from the CAP to the engineering diploma, including continuing education and training linked to businesses. », adds Marie-Guite Dufay.

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