French company ENGIE lays out 5.2 GW renewable goal

Company looks to add 500 MW to its portfolio in the short term through a joint venture with a French insurance company.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Dec. 22, 2017 at 7:48 AM
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Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Another 500 megawatts of onshore wind and solar power will be in the portfolio of a French joint venture, energy company ENGIE said Friday.

ENGIE said its joint venture with insurance company Crédit Agricole Assurances would work to acquire around 500 MW of onshore renewables by the end of next year. ENGIE already has 2.6 gigawatts of installed onshore wind and solar polar capacity in its portfolio.

"ENGIE's ambition is to reach, by 2021, 3 GW of installed capacity of onshore wind farms and 2.2 GW of solar photovoltaic power plants," Gwenaëlle Huet, the CEO in charge of renewable energy for ENGIE, said in a statement. "This partnership will be most valuable to achieve this goal."

ENGIE in mid-December joined eight other European energy companies in making a pledge to develop what they said was the "most dynamic segments of sustainable finance today, the green bond market."

The first green bond was issued a decade ago and, since then, the companies said financing for renewables has accelerated in parallel to the awareness of the need to address climate change. To date, the nine companies have combined for $30.6 billion in green bonds, or more than 10 percent of all outstanding green bonds.

Jean-Jacques Duchamp, the deputy managing director of Crédit Agricole Assurances, said Friday's agreement with ENGIE makes it a key investor in the French energy transition.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has invested more than $4.5 billion directly on renewable energy, backing the development of 6.5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in more than 20 countries.

France has one of the least carbonized electricity sectors among members of the European Union. Most of its renewable power comes from hydroelectric resources.

Nicolas Hulot, the state minister for the environment, introduced a measure in September that would end exploration and conventional and non-conventional resources like shale oil and natural gas. The measure would phase out oil and gas operations by 2040.

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