Wind, solar and biomass: to ensure continuity of clean energy supplies for consumers, ENGIE is constantly diversifying its power generating base by incorporating sources of renewable energy. The development of these carbon-free technologies (that emit very low or zero levels of CO2) is a central challenge within the overall strategy of the Group.
Renewables: a major development priority for the Group
Increasing the contribution made by renewable energy sources to total Group power generation is the subject of dedicated research and development projects. That work is focused on these developing technologies:
- Concentrated solar power
- Marine energy
- Floating offshore wind power
- New applications for biomass
As part of identifying the most promising technologies in all these different areas, ENGIE constantly monitors technological developments and conducts pilot projects, either alone or in partnership with suppliers and/or research institutes.
GAYA, an innovative biomethane production project
The GAYA project focuses on so-called ‘second-generation’ biomethane produced using a lignocellulosic biomass gasification process fueled by wood, agricultural byproducts, etc.
The aim of the project is to set up an industrial-scale process that is efficient on every level: technologically, economically and environmentally.
Coordinated by ENGIE, the 7-year GAYA project involves 11 industrial and university partners. Its €47 million budget is funded by ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.
Pilot plant construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 on our site at St. Fons in the Urban Community of Lyon.
Concentrated solar power (CSP)
These plants use arrays of mirrors to collect and concentrate the sun’s rays. Their energy is used to heat a fluid (usually oil) that then generates electricity.
ENGIE has launched a thermal solar plant project at Mejillones in Chile, run by Laborelec and its local company E-CL, to supply superheated steam to the facility’s coal-fired power plant.
Extract energy from the sea current in Raz Blanchard
Working via its subsidiary company Futures Energies, ENGIE has two hydrokinetic energy plant projects underway to generate energy from marine currents: one in the Raz Blanchard off Lower Normandy, and the other in the Passage du Fromveur in Brittany. Together, these two locations account for nearly 80% of French hydrokinetic energy generating potential.