Areva, Smart Energies through its subsidiary CETH2, and the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) have formed a joint venture, Areva H2-Gen, to manufacture Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysers, which will enable hydrogen to be produced from water and electricity.
Initially intended for industrial applications, PEM electrolysis is now targeting the renewable energy storage market to supply service stations with hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles or to supply natural gas networks, the partners say.
Areva, Smart Energies and the French State, represented by the ADEME as operator of the Investissements d’Avenir (investments for the future) Program, will eventually hold equal stakes in the company, with the aim of making it a leading global player in the field of hydrogen production by electrolysis.
This company will be based in France, where it will have a dedicated engineering and production site. The equity investment provided by the ADEME, acting on behalf of the French State, shall help finance the investments required for the development and sale of more powerful electrolysers.
In US fuel cell news, earlier this month General Motors’ fleet of fuel cell vehicles passed 3 million miles of hydrogen-powered, real-world driving, avoiding 157,894 gallons of gasoline consumption.