Hydrogénies, the Hydrogen Trophies: a key event

This competition, which is free and open to all – local governments, organizations and companies – celebrated its second edition this year. The 2020 hydrogen champions gathered for the awards ceremony chaired by Arnaud Leroy, Chief Executive Officer of the ADEME (the French Environment & Energy Management Agency). The event was organized jointly with Metropolitan Bordeaux as the climax of the 21st edition of the European Energy Transition Conference in Bordeaux on January 29, 2020.

An increasingly competent jury of experts
The competition’s jury is made up of the top experts in the hydrogen field from universities, governments, companies and communities. This year’s jury president, Philippe Boucly, President of the French Association of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (AFHYPAC), declared after the jury convened that “the list of winners this year perfectly reflects the tendencies in the dynamism of the development of hydrogen in communities”. The jury members included: for the ADEME, Luc Bodineau et Loïc Antoine; for the AFHYPAC, Olivier Savin (Dassault Aviation); for the AFHYPAC Club of Elected Officials, Valérie Nouvel (La Manche Department) and Alain Leboeuf (SyDev_ Vendée); for the field of academics and research, Olivier Joubert (CNRS Nantes); the competition organizers, André Asse (Hydrogenium magazine) and Leiko Sakurai (Sakura Consulting); and for the field of associations and professional trade press, Adrien Aldeguer (Polénergie Association) et Laurent Meillaud (Hydrogen Today editor-in-chief). A new feature of the jury this year was the inclusion of an industrialist and victor in the previous edition of the competition: Christian Bestien, representative of Haffner Energy, winner of the 2019 Low-Carbon Industry Prize.

Hydrogen champions working for sustainable communities
Prizes were awarded in eight categories in 2020. Projects could be entered in a maximum of two different prize categories.
Some candidates proposed several different projects. The entries were divided in eight categories.
This year’s winners were warmly congratulated by Arnaud Leroy, Chief Executive Officer of the ADEME, along with Philippe Boucly, President of the AFHYPAC and many elected officials from Metropolitan Bordeaux.
Nine Trophies were awarded to the champions, two projects having tied for one of the prizes:

  • Low-Carbon or Renewable Energy Industry Prize:
    for the HYNFRASTRUCTURES project
    HYNFRASTRUCTURES oversees the unprecedented joint construction work by gas companies to lay the groundwork for integrating hydrogen into the gas infrastructure, to reinforce the coupling of networks and to promote the development of innovative hydrogen production models.
  • Renewable Energy Storage and Valorization Prize, with its two winners:
    AREVA Stockage d’Energie/HELION Hydrogen Power for the SMART HYDROGEN HUB project
    HELION Hydrogen Power has developed a “multi-usage” energy solution through hydrogen for the needs of individual homes and tertiary buildings. This solution, called “Smart Hydrogen Hub”, makes it possible to achieve energy self-sufficiency while limiting the user’s carbon footprint.

    The Châteauneuf (42800) City Hall for the ILOT@GE project
    ILOT@GE (Initiative LOcale pour la Transition @nerGEtique Local Initiative for Energy Transition) is a platform that has been in operation since September 2019, for the production, storage and self-consumption of green hydrogen from renewable energies in a rural environment with the implementation of different local applications for domestic uses.
  • Maritime or Fluvial Transport Prize:
    ABB France and the Flagship consortium
    for the Flagship project
    The project is developing two vessels, a pusher boat for maneuvering barges on the Rhone river in Lyon and a car/passenger ferry operated by Norled in Norway. This innovation project for low-carbon maritime and fluvial transport is one of the European FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) projects. It is an FCH JU* financed in part via Horizon 2020 program and Hydrogen Europe. The Flagship consortium includes in particular the CFT (Compagnie fluviale de transport – Fluvial Transport Company, Sogestran Group) in Lyon, ABB France and LMG Marin in Toulouse.
    *FCH-JU : European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking – A European Commission fund for supporting communities undertaking hydrogen projects through calls for projects.
  • Terrestrial Merchandise Transportation Prize:
    for the StackPack M project
    This 0% emission, 100% freedom hydrogen system for suburban merchandise transport makes it possible to reduce emissions from truck transportation without disrupting the transporter’s organization or way of working. Symbio’s StackPack M is fitted into light commercial vehicles (vans and small trucks), doubling their autonomy as compared to vehicles with batteries alone and allowing refueling in less than 5 minutes. The StackPack M, already used on France’s first hydrogen buses, will be produced on an industrial level starting in 2020.
  • Passenger Transportation Services Prize:
    Pau Béarn Pyrénées Mobilités
    for the FEBUS project
    Fébus, inaugurated January 14, 2020 by French President Emmanuel Macron, is the new Bus with a High Level of Service  (BHLS) of the Pau conurbation. It is the world’s first 18-meter BHLS running on hydrogen. Inspired by the Exqui.City, designed by Van Hool in collaboration with designer Julien Gaubert, FEBUS was specially conceived for Pau. The hydrogen will be produced locally.
  • Awareness, Education and Training Prize:
    Pragma Mobility
    for the G7 Biarritz 2019 project
    This shared hydrogen bicycle service received much media attention at the G7 summit in August 2019 in Biarritz. The 4000 accredited journalists present could use the bikes freely upon presentation of their press card.
  • International Cooperation and Export Prize:
    for the REMOTE DEMO-4 project
    REMOTE DEMO-4 is a European project that will provide a source of continuous energy from local primary resources to isolated, off-grid islands.
  • Communal Transition Prize
    The Var Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    for the HYNOVAR project
    HYNOVAR is a community ecosystem for the production and distribution of green hydrogen through two initial stations in the Var department designed for land (LCVs and city buses) and maritime (1st passenger ferry) transport uses.

In 2019, public financing in hydrogen reached 91.5 million euros, in keeping with commitments made in the framework of the hydrogen plan launched in 2018. The government also announced it would be calling for new projects in 2020 and preparing a support plan for the hydrogen sector to allow the French ecosystem (industries, local governments, research laboratories …) to improve its structures and position itself on the markets of hydrogen production and distribution, for both industry and mobility, both in France and for export. This 2020 edition revealed hydrogen projects that are increasing innovative and bold.