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China invests massively in renewable energy

As the world's largest energy consumer, China has embarked on a true energy revolution to limit the impact of its economic growth on environment and health. Still dominated by coal, its energy mix is rapidly evolving thanks to massive domestic investment in renewable energy, which China also performs abroad. ENGIE has entered into numerous strategic partnerships which are in line with this energy revolution. ENGIE is supporting this energy revolution, positioning itself in particular in the photovoltaic sector.

Renewable power now accounts for more than 30% of installed electrical capacity worldwide, exceeding coal. By 2015, photovoltaic and wind power have accounted for one third of the renewable power worldwide, with 82% of total investment in China, the European Union, the United States and Japan[1].

  • China is ready to act to fight pollution.
  • © UNISUN
  • © UNISUN
  • ENGIE signed an agreement in Shanghai to acquire a 30% stake in UNISUN, a company specializing in photovoltaic (PV) solar power.

Faced with continuous pollution, China has launched a drastic plan to reduce its consumption of coal.

The aim of the Chinese leaders is to achieve 15% non-fossil energy in the energy mix by 2020, and 20% by 2030. This is the most ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions with 54% fewer emissions in 2030 than in 2010. The share of coal consumption, already decreasing since 2013, is expected to decrease from 64% to less than 58% by 2020.

China, leader for investment in renewable energy

China's 13th Five-Year Development Plan (2016-2020), published by the National Development and Reform Commission for Renewable Energy, plans to invest 2,500 billion yuan (344 billion euros) in renewable energy and nuclear energy by 2020. Specifically, 1,000 billion yuan would be invested in solar energy. China wants in particular expand its solar capacities by five times - which would amount about a thousand solar power stations according to experts. Some 700 billion yuan would be devoted to wind farms and 500 billion to hydroelectric power.

By 2015, China already accounted for 17% of global investment in green energy. In addition, according to a study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), the country has invested more than 30 billion euros in renewable energy in 2016 outside its national territory. This amount, which is 60% higher than the one injected in 2015, confirms the country's position as a world leader in the clean energy sector.

ENGIE in line with the Chinese energy revolution

ENGIE has started to develop relationship and cooperation with Chinese partners since more than 30 years.

Leveraging on the Group’s know-how and solutions, ENGIE aims at becoming a benchmark player in China’s energy transition, developing decarbonated, decentralized and digitalized solutions in the areas of Energy Services, Engineering and Gas sectors and now entering the Renewables sector, as well as facilitating ENGIE and Chinese companies to jointly develop projects in third-party markets.

ENGIE is present in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, as well as in the province of Sichuan, having developed various joint ventures in the domain of district cooling and heating networks, energy efficiency services, energy cogeneration, gas infrastructure and engineering services. ENGIE has also successfully contributed to Chinese gas security of supply through 3 Liquefied Natural Gas supply contracts respectively with CNOOC (from 2013 to 2017) and during the two last winter periods with Beijing Gas Group.

Finally, in April 2017 ENGIE acquired a 30% stake in UNISUN, a company specializing in photovoltaic solar energy, which is aiming to achieve total installed power of 4 GW in China by 2020. To help it do this, ENGIE will support it in its development and in managing the energy it produces.

Ms. Charlotte Roule, CEO of ENGIE China declared: “This investment into UNISUN, which develops both projects of production on wholesale electricity market and projects for BtoB clients, represents for ENGIE the opportunity to step in the world biggest and most promising renewable power market.”

[1] Source: A World of Energy, 2016 Edition.

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