12-16 June 2023

French Beyond Aero wins Brilliant Innovators 2023 Award for revolutionary hydrogen aircraft 

Beyond Aero wins Brilliant Innovators 2023 Award, by the Swedish Brilliant Minds foundation. Beyond Aero is a French startup, based in Toulouse, developing the first long range hydrogen aircraft. The company was a distinguished participant in YCombinator, where they successfully secured a substantial funding of EUR 10 million, developed an impressive 85kW prototype, and received recognition as a Top 20 FrenchTech Green company. Under the exceptional leadership of Eloa Guillotin and with the expertise of their skilled engineering team comprising more than 30 individuals, they have garnered prestigious honours, including the esteemed French Academy of Technologies and Forbes 30Under30 France. The jury was profoundly impressed by their innovative approach to addressing a significant problem, coupled with their astute commercial acumen. 


France implements subsidies to boost strategic sectors and industrial sovereignty

France is implementing subsidies and investment deals to strengthen its strategic sectors and industrial sovereignty. President Emmanuel Macron is leveraging the US’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) incentives package. Recent developments include Taiwanese battery company ProLogium selecting France for its overseas battery manufacturing facility and securing EUR 13 billion worth of investment pledges. The government has also announced a significant subsidy for a chip factory being developed by STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries

France aims to mobilise EUR 54 billion through its France 2030 investment plan, targeting sectors such as energy, healthcare, biotechnology and electronic components. The country is positioning itself as the EU’s counterpart to the IRA, setting a new standard for incentive-driven industrial strategies. France ranked fourth globally for incentive deals offered in 2022. The government is implementing long-term tax incentives, training grants and reallocating research tax credits to specific areas in the green economy. Despite fewer financial resources, France remains an attractive foreign direct investment (FDI) destination, receiving a significant number of greenfield FDI projects.


France’s electricity consumption expected to surge by 2030, meeting 2050 forecasts ahead of schedule

France’s electricity consumption is projected to increase significantly by 2030, reaching levels previously anticipated for 2050, according to forecasts by RTE, the country’s electricity network operator. If France achieves its decarbonization and reindustrialization targets, electricity consumption could reach 580-640 TWh by 2035. This surge in demand is driven by various factors, including the need to compensate for the reduction in Russian gas supply due to the Ukraine war and the EU’s push for renewable energy targets. However, uncertainties regarding the energy system’s stability, storage capacity and interconnections still need to be addressed.

RTE has identified four strategies to address rising electricity demand in France, focusing on reducing energy consumption and increasing low-carbon and renewable energy sources. France aims to decrease overall energy consumption by 40% by 2050, stabilise nuclear energy production and achieve 250-300 TWh of electricity from renewables by 2035. Germany serves as an example, producing over 40% of its electricity from renewables in 2022.


France-Germany spat delays EU’s Green Deal

EU member states have faced further delays in reaching a decision on scaling up renewable energy, as a proposal to address French concerns over its nuclear industry faced criticism from Germany and other nations. Sweden suggested amending part of a framework deal, but this triggered scepticism from a majority of countries. The proposed amendment to a non-binding part of the renewable energy law may or may not require reopening talks with the parliament. To prevent this, the European Commission has offered a declaration to interpret EU rules and address French concerns. The renewable energy overhaul requires support from both the European Parliament and member states in the EU Council. 

The disagreement highlights the risk of national politics sidetracking the EU’s Green Deal, which aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Germany prefers approving the law in its current form, while France seeks changes to accommodate its gas-powered ammonia plants’ upgrade to renewable electricity-produced hydrogen. The decision on the renewable reform has been postponed until Friday by Sweden, who currently holds the rotating EU presidency. 


The above French Nordic green news was brought to you by a collaboration between Mundus International and Chambre de Commerce France Suède (CCFS). For more French Nordic green news, click here