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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 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.

 

Wind energy

 

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 (in a precise manner over 24 or 48 hours) and relatively constant over the year (little variability from one year to the next). Lastly, in Europe, wind energy production is greater in winter, when there is a 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 million 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 should drop further through continued improvements in technology and economies of scale. 

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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To capture the tremendous potential of marine winds, ENGIE is investing in major offshore wind projects, both bottom-fixed and floating, 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 an onshore wind turbine but can be installed in two ways: on a foundation fixed to the seabed (a so-called "bottom-fixed" foundation) or on a floating foundation anchored to the seabed. With higher masts than those of onshore wind turbines, offshore wind turbines are more powerful, and benefit from greater and more regular wind power. They can therefore produce up to twice as much energy as onshore turbines.

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 being installed in areas 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 fixed to the ground or the use of specialized vessels for their installation. It can also be towed ashore for major maintenance operations. Furthermore, its distance makes it less visible from the shore.

Offshore wind energy

Today, Europe has 28 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 joint venture for offshore wind energy activities

In January 2020, ENGIE and EDPR created a 50-50 joint venture, Ocean Winds, to speed up their development in offshore wind energy. Through this joint venture, ENGIE and EDPR combined their offshore wind assets, know-how, and project pipeline.

Since its creation, Ocean Winds has seen significant development and as of 1 September 2022, has a portfolio of advanced projects (in operation, in construction or with an exclusive development right) totalling 14.5 GW throughout the world.

More information: here

 

Fixed offshore wind energy: ENGIE’s flagship projects
 

  • The Dieppe-Le Tréport and Yeu-Noirmoutier projects in France

With projects off the coasts of Dieppe and Le Tréport and the Yeu and Noirmoutier islands, ENGIE is contributing to the development of a sustainable offshore wind energy industry in France. Ocean Winds was selected by the French government in 2014 to develop and install two offshore wind farms, with a total power output of 1,000 MW. Each year, these wind farms will produce the equivalent of the domestic energy consumption of 1.6 million inhabitants. Each of these wind farms will be equipped with 62 8-megawatt wind turbines. Ocean Winds 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.

 

  • The SeaMade project in Belgium

The SeaMade wind farm entered into service in Belgium in 2021. 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.

 

  • The Moray East project in Scotland

In operation since April 2022, this wind farm produces no less than 40% of Scotland’s electricity demand. It is part of a wider project with the Moray West and Caledonia projects. 

More about Moray East and Scotwind

Floating offshore wind energy: ENGIE’s flagship projects

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The WindFloat Atlantic project in Portugal

ENGIE and EDPR have developed, built and commissioned an initial floating wind energy project off the coast of Portugal: Windfloat Atlantic, known as WFA.

This wind farm has 3 wind turbines, 100 metres tall, each generating 8.4 MW. They are installed on Windfloat technology floating platforms designed by Principle Power and anchored to the seabed at a depth of 100 metres, approximately 20 km off the coast of Viana do Castelo in the North of Portugal. Their installed capacity of 25 MW can generate enough energy to supply the equivalent of 60,000 consumers each year.

After an initial successful test during the prototype stage, WFA is part of an iterative and progressive approach. It has demonstrated the advantages of the floating wind energy technology. 

 

The Korea Floating Wind project in South Korea

The third generation of the Principle Power Inc. floating technology will be installed in South Korea. The design of the float incorporates major improvements and new solutions. With such significant operational experience on WFA, this float technology is the most advanced, ready to be rolled out commercially on a large scale, like for example in the Korea Floating Wind project (1.3 GW capacity) off Ulsan.

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The Golfe du Lion floating wind turbines project in France

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 2024. With a unit capacity of approximately 10 MW, they will be assembled on floating steel structures and installed approximately 16 km from the coast.

The EFGL project has benefited from the various innovations and optimisations of Windfloat Atlantic that has been integrated for its own development. 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

 

As a pioneer in floating off-shore wind turbines, with 10 years of experience thanks to the WindFloat 1 project, a prototype tested ten years ago, and then Windfloat Atlantic (WFA), currently in operation in Portugal, Ocean Winds has gained solid expertise and knowledge in this technology. The lessons learned from the implementation and operation of WFA have inspired many projects throughout the world.

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.