On November 12th the French Icelandic Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the French Senate’s North interparliamentary friendship group and the Icelandic Embassy in Paris organized a Green Hydrogen Symposium in the French Senate at the Luxembourg Palace in Paris, in the presence of the Icelandic President, as well as the ambassadors of Iceland to France and of France to Iceland.
The appointed moderator, Mr. Paul LUCCHESE from MEDEF International’s Task Force H2, formally opened the Symposium followed by welcoming notes from Madame Francoise GATEL, Vice president of the interparliamentary Friendship Group for Iceland.
The President of Iceland, Mr. Gudni Th. JOHANNESSON continued setting the tone by asking in his keynote speech “Is hydrogen our energy carrier for the future? Can it be produced in Iceland? Can it then be shipped over to users in other countries? And can we do all this in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner? Can we produce energy and protect nature at the same time? Yes, we can. And yes, we must.”
Mr. Philippe BOUCLY, president of FRANCE HYDROGEN concluded the opening section with a brief introductory of the French hydrogen overall outlook.
The main body of the symposium was split into two sessions where each panellist gave an 8 minute presentation followed by a panel discussion moderated by Mr. P. LUCCHESE:
1. Presentations on developments, technologies & challenges of “Green Hydrogen”
2. Projects and realisations
The 1st session started with a presentation from Mr. Hordur ARNASON – CEO of Landsvirkjun, The National Power Company of Iceland, followed by Mr. Oliver LHOTE – H2 Project Director of ENGIE; Mr. Benedikt GUDMUNDSSON – Director of Green by Iceland; Mr. Laurent ANTONI – Coordinator H2 EU Programme at CEA/LITEN; Mr. Tomas Mar SIGURDSSON – CEO of HS Orka and closing with Dr Isabelle MORETTI – Member of the French Academy of Technology.
A panel discussion followed with topics such as how France and Iceland can work together on the development of high temperature electrolysers in order to lower the production cost of Green Hydrogen, challenges of infrastructure, the social and environmental impact and how carbon taxes help in making green solutions more attractive.
After a short break the 2nd session began with a presentation from Mme. Audur Nanna BALDVINSDOTTIR – Co-founder of IDUNNH2 followed by Mr. Peter MACKEY – H2 VP Strategy at Air Liquide; Mr. Lucien MALLET – Managing Director of Carbon Neutrality at Qair and Mr. Tryggvi HERBERTSSON – CEO of Qair Iceland; Mr. Lionel COUSSEINS – Zer0-e Market Director at Airbus and closing with Mr. VictorienERUSSARD – founder of Energy Observer H2 Boat Laboratory.
The panel discussions following presentations in the 2nd session addressed the importance of accepting the additional cost related to the transition towards cleaner energy solutions and the challenges of having the global economy optimized and structured around current technologies for optimal cost efficiency.
Concluding after the 2nd session, Madame Unnur ORRADOTTIR RAMETTE Ambassador for Iceland in France, emphasized on the urgency of getting involved in fighting global warming and the importance for Iceland to seize this opportunity to play a key role in the transition towards zero carbon emission.
Madame Sophie LASZLO Ambassador for France in Iceland followed and affirmed the importance of Carbon taxes to level the playing field and underlined the various clean energy sources available to produce green hydrogen.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Baldvin Bjorn HARALDSSON, President of the French Icelandic Chamber of Commerce pointed out the need to address the lack of regulations in the legal framework for Hydrogen in France and Iceland. Concluding with hopes of seeing concrete steps taken to follow up on today’s collaboration, creating a task force between France and Iceland to continue to work on matters discussed during the Green Hydrogen Symposium.
The Symposium was recorded and aired live on the website of the French Senate. A video of the Symposium is available here.
The French Icelandic Chamber of Commerce would like to express its gratitude towards the President of Iceland, Ambassadors of France and Iceland, all participating speakers the moderator and all participants for their presence and participation in the Symposium.
Photos from the symposium can be found here.