Business

Engie’s miracle solution to overcome wind resistance

In the field of renewable energy development, France has a record: that of the time between the acceptance of a wind energy project… and its effective implementation. The resistance to offshore installations is so great, and the administrative professions so numerous, that France still has no parks on its territory. As for onshore wind turbines, tensions have crystallized to such an extent that the runner-up candidate, Marine Le Pen, campaigned extensively for their dismantling.

Which poses a threat to certain projects of oil and gas groups, which are obliged to diversify their activities to phase out fossil fuels. Including Engie (ex-GDF-Suez), who dreams of “ leader of the renewable energy sector. And with good reason, while offshore wind is a prime place in this strategy, Engie had no choice but to postpone the construction of its French project between the island of Yeu and Noirmoutier from 2021 to 2023, in order to better take into account with the time limits for legal action. And continues to face opposition, as the local association “Without offshore on the horizon” announced in mid-April its intention to seize the European Commission.

Guarantees of Accuracy and Transparency

Under these circumstances, the energy company, which has been questioned several times in the past about its methods for setting up sustainable projects, announced on Thursday, May 5, the creation of a “TED” label (for “sustainable energy transition”) presumed ” giving citizens and territories guarantees of rigor and transparency on the development of new projects so that they can appropriate Designed in collaboration with Bureau Veritas, the global leader in audit and certification services, it will cover Engie’s solar and wind operations in France from June, before expanding to methanation in 2022, the band assures. Follow-up audits by Bureau Veritas are then scheduled for 2023 and 2024.

“It’s about building projects with local authorities, providing trust and systematizing our long-term commitments. We build custom projects based on this. For example, by adjusting the exact location and height of wind turbines in a certain area,” Director General Catherine MacGregor said on Thursday.

Nine Systematized Commitments

Specifically, this label includes nine commitments ” that go beyond legal requirements and that Engie commits to deploy systematically the company says. For example, in order to strengthen the involvement of stakeholders, it will be a matter of creating a ” custom and scalable interaction device “or even from” provide the municipality with an assessment of the positive effects

In addition to exchanges with citizens and municipalities, Engie also wants to give “ guarantees for the preservation of nature » close to the infrastructure, by having an impact study carried out beforehand, validated by an independent third party. But also shows that it contributes to the fight against climate change, by communicating the avoided emissions of each park and by certifying “recycling or reusing all turbines and solar panels Which, the group hopes, will convince opponents of the advantages of these facilities.

Offshore wind energy also provokes resistance from environmental associations

A lever for growth for the company

Because Engie relies heavily on their development to ensure its growth, while the use of fossil fuels will have to be reduced to save the environment. At the end of April, its president Jean-Pierre Clamadieu declared himself ” in working order and on the offensive ” for ” to confirm “the place of the group” among European leaders ” renewable energysources. With a clear ambition : “to equalize” » with the champions of the sector, the Spanish Iberdrola and the Italian Enel.

In fact, the group has met its renewable energy targets, with a capacity of 9 GW commissioned between 2019 and 2021, 3 of which were last year. And now plans to invest 15 to 16 billion euros in the field by 2023, before rising to nearly 50 GW in 2025 and then 80 GW in 2030 (up from 34 GW today). While offshore wind represents only 1% of this installed capacity, it highlights a portfolio of 11 GW, to be effectively connected by 2030 through 12 farms installed in seven countries.

However, his new label only covers projects in France for the time being. But it will be ultimately the benchmark for the development and operation of Engie’s sustainable installations worldwide says Catherine Macgregor.

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