ENGIE to mobilize €800 million to develop green gases in the next five years in France
Today, during the inauguration of the Beauce Gâtinais Biogas (BGB) methanization unit in France, in presence of François de Rugy, French Minister of State, Minister of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Isabelle Kocher, ENGIE CEO, announced that €800 million would be mobilized in the next five years to develop green gases, a new French sector of excellence that will create value and jobs in France. This plan will support the objective of at least 10% green gas injected into the networks by 2030, as enshrined in the French Energy Transition Law for Green Growth.
ENGIE is positioning itself throughout the entire value chain of the biomethane industry: from project development, in close collaboration with farmers, to the sale to end consumers. By 2030, ENGIE and its partners aim to mobilize a total of €2 billion to produce 5 TWh per year of biomethane by that date.
The Group’s objective is to support the sector’s industrialization to reduce costs by about 30 to 40% by 2030 and thereby achieve cost parity with natural gas. ENGIE is concentrating on standardizing, massifying and digitizing projects, and will be partnering with suppliers to facilitate their expansion in the market. This industrialization will enable the emergence of nationally-focused SMEs and will help increase the proportion of French technologies in relevant biogas projects.
The Beauce Gâtinais Biogas facility, located in the Centre-Val de Loire region, developed in partnership with members of the agricultural sector, is a perfect example of harmonious progress promoted by ENGIE, focusing on regional development.
This facility will produce 23 GWh of biomethane each year, the equivalent of the hot water and heating consumption of 1,750 households. The materials processed by the biogas plant mainly comprise agricultural by-products of plant origin from the AgroPithiviers cooperative and from local agri-food industries together with horse manure. The plant will also produce 20,000 tons of organic fertilizers which will be provided to members of the AgroPithiviers cooperative.
The construction began in May 2017. The project represents a total investment of €10 million.
During the inauguration, Isabelle Kocher said, “Gas, which will gradually become green, will play a key role in the decarbonation of our country, along with other sources of clean energy generation. Produced on the territory, green gas is easily storable and non-intermittent. As such, it has unique properties that make it the natural partner of electrical renewable energy sources. It will be an important vector of our country’s energy transition."
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In France, ENGIE has a diversified power generation portfolio with more than 10,000 MW of installed capacities, 70% of which is renewable energy. ENGIE is the leader in wind power with 1,900 MW of installed capacity, the leader in solar power with nearly 1,200 MWp and is the alternative leader in hydroelectric production with an installed capacity of 3,800 MW (figures at end of July 2018).
One of the main pillars supporting agricultural activity in the Pithiviers district, the AgroPithiviers agricultural cooperative was established in 1933 and has throughout its history been the effective commercial tool of its member producers, who currently number 380. Collecting almost 200,000 tons of cereals and supported by the know-how of producers and its 50 employees, its day-to-day mission is to reconcile high quality production with the quantities required to supply all market segments. The cooperative supplies the traditional French milling and European malting industries, and the ingredients of many well-known bakery and brewery products include flour or malt from the Beauce Gâtinais region sourced from AgroPithiviers. These products, of which the majority are governed by production charters or specifications, are produced through environment-friendly cultural programs fully committed to sustainable development.
Established in 1920, SICAP (Société d’Intérêt Collectif Agricole pour l’Électricité) is the electricity distribution concession holder supplying 26,000 customers in 95 communes around Pithiviers. In addition to exercising its public service mission, SICAP invests in energy production resources enabling it to benefit from the renewable energy development dynamic and establish its own energy production capacity in the long term, thereby making itself less dependent on market fluctuations. These production resources, acquired with other partners, consist of eight hydraulic plants, four wind farms and a combined cycle gas plant. Based on its experience, SICAP continues to develop projects involving renewable energy (wind, photovoltaic, hydraulic), giving preference to participative funding in accordance with the French Law on the Energy Transition and Green Growth. Its involvement in BGB is in exact alignment with its green energy development strategy.