The day after the presentation of the France 2030 plan, which devotes 30 billion euros to the technologies of the future, the city of Auxerre (Yonne) and EDF inaugurated Wednesday, October 13 the largest hydrogen fuel station in France. It must initially supply urban buses, then make it possible to replace the diesel trains which serve the city.
The two white and blue pumps of this new hydrogen station are a little taller than a conventional gas pump. Corn “it’s exactly like on a diesel station”, assures Audran Fournet, project manager who puts himself in the shoes of a bus driver who refuels. “You have a hose that you come to connect to the bus, he explains, eThen you lock the connection. You can go identify yourself. This allows you to then start the filling by pressing a simple green button. ”
Next to it, white containers and tanks constitute the hydrogen production facility. “Here we are in front of the very heart of the electrolyser, Explain Audran Fournet, the machine in which, thanks to a strong electric current, we go to dissociate the molecules of water, into hydrogen on one side and oxygen on the other. “
The Auxerre station will have a production capacity of one megawatt. “A megawatt is 400 kg of hydrogen per day, recalls Christelle Rouillé, director of Hynamics, an EDF subsidiary dedicated to hydrogen, a bus to travel on a range of 300 to 500 km per day, needs 15 to 20 kg per day. ”
A daily full which, in the current state of the project, will still be expensive. “Hydrogen comes out at 12 euros per kilo. The objective is to divide it by two”, continues Christelle Rouillé. “I remind you that the diesel-hydrogen parity is a price of hydrogen that comes out at six euros per kilo, she emphasizes, but operators will gain in maintenance for a hydrogen bus compared to a diesel bus. “
Technical and industrial progress will lower the cost of hydrogen, but it will probably be necessary to wait until 2030 before it drops to the level of the price of diesel. Lhe climate emergency prompted the city to participate in the project. “The current rate of sunshine in our region is that of Bordeaux, 25 years ago”, would like to remind Mayor LR of Auxerre Crescent Marault while presenting one of the first five hydrogen buses in the network. the Businova from Safra, a French hydrogen bus manufacturer “which only rejects water,” he specifies.
“If we do nothing, we are really heading for disaster. So we really have a very proactive public policy on the deployment of renewable energies in Auxerrois.”Crescent Marault, LR mayor of Auxerre
“We must quickly demonstrate that ecological transition in the territories can go hand in hand with economic development, concludes the mayor. The station is supplied with electricity by the network, therefore also nuclear. But the purchase of guarantee certificates still allows it to be labeled green hydrogen.
Listen to Grégoire Lecalot’s report here