Every year, solar systems generate more than 20 times the power needed to meet the world’s energy needs. And yet, this technology still represents only 1% of global power generating capacity. The ENGIE aim is to do whatever it takes to increase the contribution made by this renewable clean energy source to its own energy mix by acting directly at every link in the value chain, from research through manufacture to installation.
ENGIE, market leader in France
This July’s acquisition of a 95% stake in the leading competitive solar power generator Solairedirect establishes ENGIE as the French market leader, with a gross total installed capacity of 383 MW. Post-acquisition, the Group now operates 22 ground level voltaic power plants with a combined power rating of 158.5 MW, which equates to two-thirds of photovoltaic generation. ENGIE operates the Curbans generating plant with 105,000 panels installed 1,000 meters above sea level in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. This is the Group’s largest photovoltaic generating plant in France, with an installed power rating of 26.1 MW; enough to meet the annual consumption needs of 10,500 households.
An ambitious development strategy at the international scale
ENGIE’s worldwide renewables generating capacity includes total photovoltaic power generating capacity of 201 MW across 15 countries, including Canada, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Chile and the USA. The Solairedirect acquisition extends the Group’s presence to include India, Southeast Asia and Mexico.
With new projects in Europe, Latin America and South Africa, Engie produce nearly 780 additional MW in the coming years. Its leading position in the sunniest regions in the world, its teams dedicated to research and innovation and increased capital requirements of this industry, give Engie a prime world leader in this field.
Two new solar farms ENGIE in the Netherlands
ENGIE has launched two new farms. With a capacity of about 1,8 MW, are among the largest in the Netherlands. The renewable projects are based on the location of power plants of ENGIE in Nijmegen and Zwolle. Customers in the Netherlands can buy the electricity from 3.500 (Nijmegen) and 4.000 (Zwolle) panels in a new renewable contract, which combines the energy of these new farms with wind energy produced in the Netherlands.
Concentrating solar power
Concentrating solar power refers to a set of clean and sustainable technologies developed to generate energy on the grand scale. Large arrays of mirrors are used to concentrate solar radiation and use its heat to generate high-temperature steam from water. This steam can then power a turbine to generate electricity or be used directly in many different applications, including desalination, assisted hydrocarbon recovery and other industrial processes. Heat storage solutions make it possible for CSP (Concentrating Solar Power) systems to provide steam continuously, even after sunset.
Of all the sources of renewable energy, CSP has the potential to be one of the leading technologies in the challenge to respond to global energy needs. According to International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates, between 10% and 15% of the world’s electricity will be generated using CSP by 2050.
The Kathu concentrating solar power plant in South Africa
The Kathu Concentrating Power plant project in South Africa’s Northern Cape Providence, 600 km south-west of the administrative capital Pretoria, is operated by a consortium owned 49% by the ENGIE Group. With a generating capacity of 100 MW, the Kathu power plant will use parabolic trough technology in conjunction with a molten salt energy storage system offering 4½ hours of autonomous operation to offset the intermittent nature of this new renewable energy. Construction of the plant began in May this year. The completed plant is expected to come on stream in 2018..