France’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act set a target that 10% of gas in the grid must come from renewable sources by 2030.
To date, 66 sites are already injecting biomethane into the natural gas grid.
Over 800 projects are under study and more than 400 projects have been entered in the capacity register (July 2018).
At the end of 2017, in France:
Biomethane is produced from organic resources, which makes it a 100% renewable source of energy. Convinced that it will be a major energy source in the energy mix of tomorrow, ENGIE is committed to developing and industrializing biomethane in decentralized production, injection into the grid and mobility.
Since late 2017, the French hypermarket chain Carrefour has operated a fleet of 200 trucks running on biomethane, resulting in a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions and the elimination of particulates. The green mobility solutions of ENGIE’s subsidiary GNVERT are supporting Carrefour in lowering the environmental impact of its deliveries.
Carrefour and ENGIE have opened a public natural gas filling station in La Courneuve, in the northern outskirts of Paris. Carrefour, France’s leading food retailer, and GNVERT, an ENGIE Group subsidiary, which has been the leading French supplier alternative fuels for around 20 years, are materializing their collaboration for the development of biomethane fuel in the road haulage sector. ENGIE has strengthened its positioning as a leader in mobility solutions, offering a range of solutions for more fluid, cleaner and smarter mobility.
Carrefour and GNVERT were pioneers in France back in 2013, when they innovated and tested the use of biomethane fuel (Bio-CNG) for road freight transport. On the strength of the success of the tests undertaken, Carrefour decided to speed up the roll-out of these clean and quiet vehicles, with a target of opening nine filling stations by the end of 2017 enabling 200 trucks to deliver to 250 urban stores in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux and Lille. The filling station in La Courneuve was the first to be inaugurated in the context of this partnership.
The choice of biomethane forms part of Carrefour’s ambitious policy, which sets a target of a 30% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions per pallet transported in 2025 by comparison with 2010. Trucks running on biomethane achieve excellent environmental performance, with a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions, the virtual elimination of particulate emissions (-99.5%) and a 50% reduction in noise.
A model element in the circular economy, biomethane also allows the local recycling of part of the organic waste collected in stores. Through its preference for a product that cannot be delocalized, Carrefour is making an energy choice that creates jobs in France and provides support for the agricultural sector. In terms of the energy transition, this choice speeds up the use of alternative fuels. With this in mind, Carrefour has chosen to open its filling stations to all other players in the transport sector who have opted for biomethane.
Anxious to support Carrefour in this transformation, GNVERT has focused on adapting its offer with increasingly flexible and innovative solutions. The new filling station in La Courneuve is an excellent example: it allows around sixty Carrefour trucks to refuel every day. Ideally located right next to two of the Paris Region’s major motorways, the A86 and A1, the filling station is public and can also refuel garbage trucks and coaches running on natural gas. Apart from its location and its capacity of 2,000 Nm3/h (normal cubic meters per hour), which means that it wan refuel any type of vehicle in a matter of just a few minutes, ENGIE’s La Courneuve filling station also provides trucks with liquid nitrogen for cooling refrigerated trailers, helping limit the environmental impact of this use.
“The reduction of CO2 emissions and particulates is vitally important for society and we must all act together if we are going to meet the challenge,” says Florence Batchourine, Supply Chain Director of Carrefour France. “This is why Carrefour and ENGIE are working on spreading biomethane widely in France, opening the refueling network to all transport operators.”
Adds Philippe Van Deven, Managing Director of GNVERT: “The opening of this filling station marks a new phase in the development of alternative fuels in France, particular biomethane fuel. Carrefour is the first player to position itself so resolutely on the use of biomethane fuel in France and in Europe. We are very proud to be able to support them with innovative solutions which open up new prospects in the energy transition of fuels.”
The Carrefour-ENGIE Partnership: key figures
ENGIE designed and invested in the Groen Gas biogas plant near Gelderland in the Netherlands, which it is now operating. The plant processes manure supplied by local farmers.
Approximately 10 million m3 per year of biomethane is produced and injected into the local gas grid, which is enough to supply 15,000 homes. The CO2 separated during the methanation process is delivered back close to the farm while the digestate is spread as a fertilizer in neighboring fields. It is a perfect example of the circular economy.
Hycaunais is a Power-to-Gas demonstrator, located at the COVED non-hazardous waste storage facility at St Florentin. It is used in the first place to produce renewable hydrogen from wind-generated electricity, making it possible to optimize the intermittent production of the Champ de Thory wind farm operated by La Compagnie du Vent in the Yonne department of central France. Subsequently, the renewable hydrogen is combined with CO2 produced as a by-product of the methanation process operated by WAGA Energy to produce synthetic methane, also renewable, for injection into the distribution grid. The electrolyzer developed by Areva H2Gen has a rated capacity of 1 MWe and peak capacity of 2 MWe, enabling it to give flexibility to the power grid. The biological methanizer is supplied by Electrochaea. The Yonne Departmental Energy Authority is the key partner in the project. Storengy is directing the project and is acting as integrator, operator and investor.
“You can find a series of articles, interviews and key figures on ENGIE’s view of the energy mix on our dedicated page.”