Catherine MacGregor: "I am calling for a Europe-wide energy policy"

By ENGIE - 19 January 2023 - 14:26

On 6 January 2023, ENGIE CEO Catherine MacGregor was the guest of the "big interview" in the prestigious French daily financial newspaper “Les Echos”. It was an opportunity to communicate key messages at a time when energy markets are under severe strain, and to describe the Group's beliefs and commitments regarding Renewables and Europe's role in addressing future energy issues. Selected quotes...


Lessons learned from the energy crisis

According to Catherine MacGregor, the current situation provides certain important lessons. The first being that "energy is strategic and that the focus must be on energy supply as a key sovereignty issue". The role of ENGIE as a vital energy player was also covered in the interview. Catherine MacGregor believes that the Group has "social and societal responsibilities and must consider the impact of the price rise on its customers". At the same time, Catherine MacGregor pointed out that the current crisis must not prevent us from continuing the vital transition to a more carbon-neutral energy.


A long-lasting crisis?

In spite of the difficulties – loss of a large proportion of Russian gas, shutdown of several nuclear reactors in Europe, etc. - Catherine MacGregor appeared reasonably optimistic about developments surrounding the crisis. "We will get through this winter without difficulty thanks to the fast and combined efforts of players in the energy sector. Taking ENGIE as an example, our teams have worked tremendously hard and at great cost, particularly with regards to gas storage refill. Of course, the energy system will remain tense and we have less room for manoeuvre than before. But we have made concerted efforts to respond: Europe has managed to build up its storage capacity, diversify its sources of supply, and invest in infrastructure such as Liquefied Natural Gas regasification terminals; while households and industry customers have reduced their consumption." 


The importance of the "electron-molecule alliance"

Catherine MacGregor pointed out the importance of gas, a storable, transportable and transformable energy, in the European energy mix. According to her "it doesn't make sense to imply we can do without gas. The European energy mix must combine electricity and gas, bringing off the electron-molecule alliance." With this in mind, certain measures adopted, like obliging suppliers to meet given levels of refill at the start of the winter, are positive: this storage capacity is a strategic asset with a key role to play.


Proximity to our customers

Catherine MacGregor explained what makes ENGIE stand out from its competitors: "Our proximity to our customers, our regional base and our method focusing on dialogue, both within the company and for our projects. We have announced an acceleration in our annual growth in renewables. We have moved from an addition of 3 GW a year to an average of 4 GW in 2022, and will increase to 6 GW from 2026." With a proportional rate of investment and profound transformation carried out over the last two years, "we are now in a phase of accelerated growth and investment," she concluded.