“Renewable hydrogen, the new horizon of innovation” by Franck Bruel
This article is written by Franck Bruel, Executive Vice President of ENGIE, member of the Executive Committee and head of the France B2B BU.
Everyone plays a part in Innovation. It was once confined to research and development laboratories or was the preserve of specialized consultants, but today, you find innovation at every level of the company. It concerns industrial production, customer services, the organization of work spaces. To make innovation alive, concrete and relevant to the customer, it has to be supported by everyone.
In the energy sector, there are three reasons that impel us to change how we are thinking about tomorrow and to innovate differently:
- greater awareness of the need to find solutions and alternatives to the problems of carbon emissions;
- the digital revolution that is making new technologies accessible and opening up new prospects for integration;
Many people see constraints and barriers in these factors of change. But for us, they are so many opportunities encouraging us to push back the limits of what a company can offer, to think again about our relationship with resources and to do better with what we already have.
Innovation does not mean permanently reinventing everything, but rather progressing, constantly dreaming up better services and better products for customers who are increasingly demanding and concerned with environmental issues.
To do this at ENGIE, each individual acts at his or her level as an entrepreneur, a creator of value, aware that the energy revolution has to be played out for everyone’s benefit, to achieve more harmonious progress.
The growing and continuous role of innovation for the common good also forces us to work differently, to change how we collaborate with our partners both internally and externally. We are now working in an ecosystem that is still more open to listening to our customers’ needs, and in which each individual employee can contribute to the development of innovation.
An excellent illustration of this pragmatic approach to innovation and of our capacity for being a pioneer in the energy transition is the work we are doing on the development of renewable hydrogen.
Renewable hydrogen is the key that will made it possible to decarbonize many sectors, including industrial processes, mobility and energy production.
So that we can really offer sustainable, zero-emission solutions, hydrogen must also be virtuous throughout its entire production cycle. This is why ENGIE has chosen renewable hydrogen, produced by the electrolysis of water using renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydro) or from biomethane. This solution functions and opens new horizons for many industrial players, particularly for sites that are isolated or remote from the grid, thereby limiting the environmental impact of energy production and transmission.
Another sign of ENGIE’s commitment to renewable hydrogen is our involvement in Energy Observer, an electric propulsion vessel that operates thanks to a mix of renewable energies and a system for producing hydrogen from sea water, generating its own energy with no greenhouse gas emissions. It is based on comprehensive integration of several energy technologies based on hydrogen storage that achieve real energy self-sufficiency.
Our needs and our habits are undergoing constant transformation, and that is not about to stop. This is why we will never give up encouraging individuals to continue along the path of innovation.
Throughout June, we are giving you a chance to find out about hydrogen, its potential and the issues surrounding its development. You will find a series of articles and interviews in a special feature on hydrogen.