France has successfully sought approval from the European Commission (Commission) for a plan to grant research and development aid worth €68m to Air Liquide and a number of partner companies to develop a hydrogen energy chain programme (H2E). The programme is aimed at the development of early markets such as isolated sites, back-up power supply, special vehicles and mobile vehicles and is complementary to work being carried out by other research programmes in the EU. Part of what the programme seeks to achieve is the development of production of hydrogen through the electrolysis of water rather than natural gas. The Commission's investigation concluded that there were market failures throughout the hydrogen energy production and distribution chain and that without Government grants and loans, the companies concerned would be reluctant to invest.