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The energy transition: a possible area of cooperation between France and the UK

Published by
Global Hydrogen Review,


The Cross-Channel Institute, in cooperation with the Franco-British Chamber and the British Embassy in France, has just published a key study summarising France and the UK’s strengths and challenges in the energy field, highlighting the sectors in which they could cooperate to meet their needs.

The study, carried out by Rebecca Le Rouzic, Energy Markets Specialist, underlines that despite each country having made progress in its energy transition, both would benefit by working more closely on energy-related issues.

France and the UK have similar and complementary needs and know-how that they could exploit to achieve both their 2050 objectives in terms of net zero emissions and ambition to become energy self-sufficient, the study says.

This conclusion stems from the observation that French and British companies possess know-how that they could transfer and leverage on each side of the Channel. Based on Franco-British Chamber members testimonies, the study shows that the following are areas in which businesses on either side of the Channel could and should play a key role:

  • Transport electrification.
  • Hydrogen production.
  • Bioenergy.
  • Electrical micro-grids.
  • Production and demand response technologies.

Franco-British Chamber member companies that provided deep insights for the study are: BP, Schneider Electric, Lhyfe – a Nantes-based start-up leader in the production of green hydrogen, the private investment company Ardian, JCB, and Sterne Premium Logistics Services Group.

The study also identifies significant leeway for jointly developing new technologies, on which players from the two countries are already working, even jointly sometimes: e.g. nuclear energy, natural gas, biofuels, renewable energies, electricity storage and hydrogen.

Along with other major players in its sector, JCB is betting not only on electrification but also on biofuels and hydrogen for their equipment. JCB has already designed and started producing engines for its medium and heavy machines, which use the classic architecture of thermal engines but run on hydrogen. Full production of these engines of a new kind will begin by 2023 end.

According to Ardian, all players in the aviation sector must work together to accelerate the decarbonisation of the sector. The large-scale development of sustainable fuels, technological progress in aeronautics and propulsion, the use of data, the efficiency of infrastructures, as well as advanced collaboration between industry players are essential levers if France and the UK want to achieve their energy objectives.

For its part, Sterne Premium Logistics Services believes that profound changes will take place in the supply chain based on multimodality, an energy mix and the use of buildings with greater energy efficiency by logistics players.

The British Embassy in France, which underlines the UK’s utmost willingness to welcome proposals from companies likely to contribute to its energy efficiency and effectiveness, fully supports the results of the study.

Each country has strengths and particularities, with a different energy profile: France has a better carbon footprint (274 million t CO2 vs 338 t in the UK in 2021), whilst the UK has lower energy consumption (7.18 EJ compared to France’s 9.41 EJ in 2021).

Lhyfe, one of the member companies cited in the study, received the 2022 Franco-British Trade & Investment Award for Sustainable Growth, awarded each year by the Franco-British Chamber in Paris and the UK Embassy in France.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalhydrogenreview.com/hydrogen/24012023/the-energy-transition-a-possible-area-of-cooperation-between-france-and-the-uk/

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