"The 21st century will mark the end of fossil fuels, which will gradually be replaced by energy from decarbonized renewable resources, such as solar power. (…) Alongside large-scale plants (…), we will see the emergence of a multiplicity of decentralized local generating facilities", ENGIE CEO Isabelle Kocher (Le Monde, May 4, 2016).

What does decentralized energy generation mean in practice?

Decentralized generation is in many ways the opposite of the traditional model, in which one large plant provides energy for an entire region. It means introducing a very large number of small-capacity units that are all connected to the power grid, natural gas supply network or urban heating/cooling networks to generate energy from renewable sources at local level. Constructed around renewables, this energy generation method is more environmentally friendly and addresses actual local demand for energy.

What solutions are available for developing decentralized generation?

Working closely with startups and innovators, ENGIE is implementing power storage and load smoothing solutions to cope with the intermittent nature of decentralized generation:

  • Load smoothing encourages customers to reduce their consumption at peak times in exchange for other benefits.
  • Storage makes it possible to store energy from renewable sources to ensure a consistent flow of energy. Among a number of technologies developed and perfected by ENGIE, Power-to-Gas offers an effective solution for the future. It consists of storing surplus energy from renewable sources by converting it to hydrogen or methane syngas.