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Wind energy

Wind energy is a core component of the energy transition. Today it represents 837 GW of global installed capacity with an uplift of 12.4% over 2020, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

 

ENGIE contributes to this growth with the introduction of of multiple projects around the world, with the aim of reaching 80 GW of renewable energy capacities by 2030, involving multiple onshore and offshore wind projects.

 

What are the benefits of wind energy?

Wind energy has the advantage of being unlimited, carbon-neutral and now competitive. It’s an inexhaustible resource (wind constitutes an unlimited resource), available locally, and predictable (winds are generally stronger and more frequent in the winter, when there is greater demand for electricity).


 
Wind energy does not produce greenhouse gas emissions. According to RTE (2020) emissions avoided through wind and solar energy production amount to approximately 22 millon tonnes of CO2 per year. 
 

Wind energy is a competitive energy with a limited cost for the final consumer, thanks to developments in technology and further investment in this low carbon energy. 
 

Since 1993, there has been a rapid increase in the manufacture of wind turbines. In France in 2020, jobs in the sector have risen significantly, reporting a growth rate of 12% and a total of 22,600 direct and indirect jobs. According to Ademe, by 2050 the production costs of renewable energy facilities should drop further through continued improvements in technology and economies of scale.

 

>> Hey ENGIE, can wind turbines be recycled? <<

 

On-shore wind energy

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What is on-shore wind energy?

A wind turbine is a device that converts the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy, which is then transformed into electricity. In this way, the wind turbine uses the wind speed to produce renewable energy with very low greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Land-based wind turbines, known as onshore wind turbines, are installed on land, unlike offshore wind turbines, which are erected out at sea.


  
The electrical energy produced by a wind turbine varies according to three essential parameters: the shape and length of the blades, the speed of the wind and the temperature, which changes the density of the air. In Europe, wind turbines must comply with design and construction standards. They have been subject to technical inspections since 2008.

 

Just a few of our projects

 

  • Focus on the renewable energy control center in France:
    Darwin and the renewable energy control center – an innovative concept
    This center, the only one of its kind in Europe, ensures the remote control and safety of 326 wind and solar farms in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland, Romania and the Netherlands, mainly thanks to the Darwin application. This is a unique digital platform for managing the data of our renewable energy production assets.
  • Focus on cooperative wind energy in Belgium:
    Cooperative wind energy, or involving local residents in local power generation
    Crowd-funding gives individuals the opportunity to take part in ambitious projects and to be involved in their realization. Through cooperative wind energy projects, ENGIE not only gives local residents the advantages of clean local energy, it also enables them to have their views heard and to benefit from their involvement.
  • Focus on ENGIE X Air Products in France :
    When blockchain technology guarantees the traceability of green electricity
    AIR PRODUCTS and ENGIE are jointly innovating through the signature of a contract that certifies the traceability of green energy thanks to the blockchain. The contract heralds a change in the model of customer/supplier relationship by favoring a partnership approach and the traceability of the manufacturing chain of the end product that uses green energy.

Offshore wind energy

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Seeking to capture the tremendous potential of marine winds, ENGIE is investing in major offshore wind projects, both bottom-fixed and floating. The Group actively participates in the emergence of a sustainable industrial sector through its Ocean Winds 50/50 joint venture with EDPR.

 

What is offshore wind energy?

An ocean wind turbine, usually called an offshore wind turbine, uses the power of marine winds to produce renewable, carbon-free energy. It works in the same way as a land-based wind turbine but can be installed in two ways: on a foundation anchored to the seabed (a so-called "bottom-fixed" foundation) or on a floating foundation simply connected to the seabed by anchor lines. With higher masts than those of onshore wind turbines, offshore wind turbines benefit from greater and more regular wind power and can therefore produce up to twice as much energy as onshore turbines.


 
According to various scenarios, offshore wind energy could account for up to 11.3% of power generated in Europe by 2030. Today, Europe has 25 GW of installed offshore wind capacity and the European Union has set its sights on 300 GW by 2050. The growth potential of the sector is considerable in view of the extent of Europe's coastlines.

 

Ocean Winds, ENGIE’s JV for offshore wind energy activities

In January 2020, ENGIE and the Portuguese group EDPR created a new 50-50 joint venture, Ocean Winds, to speed up their development in offshore wind energy. Through this joint venture, ENGIE and EDPR are combining their offshore wind assets, know-how, and project pipeline. Since its creation, Ocean Winds has expanded sharply and in Q1 2022 reached a projet capacity of 11.2 GW across the world.

More information: here

 

Bottom-fixed offshore wind energy: ENGIE sites and projects

  • In France: projects off the coasts of Le Tréport, Yeu and Noirmoutier islands

With for example, projects off the coasts of Dieppe-Le Tréport and the Yeu and Noirmoutier islands, ENGIE is contributing to the development of a sustainable offshore wind energy industry in France. The consortium consisting of ENGIE, EDP Renewables and Caisse des Dépôts has been selected by the French government to develop and install two offshore wind farms with a total capacity of approximately 1,000 MW. The estimated capacity of these wind farms should produce the equivalent of the energy consumption of 1.5 million inhabitants. Each of these state-of-the-art wind farms will be equipped with 62 8-megawatt wind turbines manufactured by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. ENGIE and its partners are carrying out these projects in close consultation with local stakeholders. To find out more and receive regular information on these projects, visit the websites of the Dieppe and Le Tréport project and the Yeu and Noirmoutier islands project.

 

L’Eolien en mer

 

 

  • SeaMade in the North Sea

The SeaMade wind farm entered into service in Belgium in 2020. It comprises 58 wind turbines and offers a total capacity of 487 MW. The site produces enough electricity to cover the annual consumption of 485,000 Belgian households while reducing CO2 emissions by 600,000 tonnes each year.

 

 

Floating offshore wind energy: deep-water energy production

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Like a bottom-fixed offshore wind turbine, a floating offshore wind turbine generates power from the mechanical energy of the wind. Thanks to its floating offshore structure, however, it has the characteristic of generating electricity further from the coast, where the water is much deeper and the sea winds stronger and more stable. Another advantage is its ease of installation, since it does not require foundations to be poured or the use of specialized vessels needed for bottom-fixed wind turbines. Furthermore, due to its great distance from the coast (between 15 and 22 km), the visual impact and the effect on shipping are relatively low.

 

The development of floating wind is still in its infancy with the installation of the first pilots, but it is a strategic sector for coastal regions in terms of employment, and industrial and ecological issues. The technically exploitable potential of floating wind farms is estimated at 600 GW in Europe, compared to 250 GW for bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines*.

 

Floating wind energy: ENGIE projects

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The Golfe du Lion floating wind turbines project in France

The Golfe du Lion Floating Wind Turbines project (EFGL) was the winner of a call for projects for pilot floating wind farms by the French government and the ADEME (the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management) in 2016. It involves the installation of a pilot wind farm of three floating turbines off the coast of Leucate Le Barcarès by 2023.

This wind farm will optimize opportunities to learn more about floating wind turbine technology. The Golfe du Lion, recognized as the premier source of offshore wind power in France, is the ideal area to take this decisive step.

Each of the wind turbines has a unit capacity of approximately 10 MW. They will be assembled on floating steel structures and installed approximately 16 km from the coast. By capturing the regular and sustained offshore winds, they will provide enough electricity for more than 50,000 people living along the coastline.

 

Built in consultation with local stakeholders and respecting the environment, this project will contribute to the energy transition of the region and will help generate sustainable business activities.
More information here

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The WindFloat Atlantic project in Portugal

The Windplus consortium, whose shareholders include the ENGIE and EDPR groups, has developed, constructed and commissioned the first floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Portugal, Windfloat Atlantic, project (WFA).

The wind farm consists of three 100-meter MHI Vestas turbines of 8.4 MW each, installed on Windfloat technology floating platforms designed by Principle Power and anchored on the seabed at a depth of 100 meters, approximately 20 km off the coast of Viana do Castelo in Portugal. These are the largest and most powerful floating wind turbines in the world installed to date. 

With an installed capacity of 25 MW, it can generate enough energy to supply the equivalent of 60,000 consumers each year. Among the many advantages of this technology are towing without the need for specialized offshore vessels and the option of bringing it ashore if major repairs are required.

 

After an initial successful test at the prototype stage, this project is part of an iterative and progressive approach to demonstrating floating wind turbine technology desired by the partners. The EFGL project is intended to be the last step before commercial deployment, thanks mainly to the various innovations and optimizations it incorporates.

 

These pilot projects and its Ocean Winds joint venture position ENGIE as a pioneer and leader in the emerging and promising offshore wind energy market, which has enormous potential for development around the world. 

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