Green energy in France has been growing in recent years thanks to commitments by the Government which outlined plans to invest €6bn in the sector. In 2019, renewable energy accounted for 25.3% of gross energy consumption. As part of the Paris Agreement, France has promised to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 and for 32% of their total energy consumption to come from renewable energy. These targets require substantial public and private investments. Several key players in the private sector are introduced below, IPPs such as EDF and Engie represent global leaders in green energy. All of the IPPs included in this article can be found on our list of large European IPPs.
EDF Renewables – wind, solar and storage IPP based in Paris
The Parisian group is a global green energy developer and operator striving to provide value to its customers and fight against climate change. EDF Renewables has a strong national presence with over 80 wind farms and 20 solar projects resulting in an installed capacity of 2GW with a further 751MW under construction. Globally, the firm has an installed capacity of 11.4GW with 70% of the capacity produced by wind farms, solar accounts for 28%, and storage 2%. Outside of France, the firm has an installed capacity of 1.5GW across Europe and a further 4.8GW in North America, and 3.1GW around the rest of the world. The French group continues to build on its portfolio and in June 2023, the group announced the acquisition of a 400MW wind project in the Scottish Borders region. A few days later, EDF also announced they received approval for a 500MW solar farm located near Chelmsford which will be co-developed with Padero Solar. The duo received approval from the UK Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero for the solar farm which will also contain battery storage.
Engie – wind, hydrogen, hydro, solar, storage, and biomass IPP based in Paris
Global energy giant with over 96,000 employees worldwide, the Paris-based group has been long recognised as one of the key renewable energy players in the global market. Engie has outlined ambitious goals to improve on its portfolio with plans to have an installed capacity of 80GW by 2030. In 2021 alone, the French group installed 3GW of renewable energy which brought its green energy capacity to 34GW. Since then, its portfolio has grown to 38GW and continues to grow. In May 2023, Engie announced the firm joined the global wind organization (GWO) which aims to set standards for wind energy development. Wind accounts for 13GW out of its 38GW total which places the firm as one of the key members of the GWO. In May 2023, Engie completed the development of its 66MW solar park located in Sicily, which will provide energy to Amazon’s Italian workplaces. The firm has an installed capacity of 500MW in Italy and the French group continues to build upon this and reach 2GW by 2030.
Sonnedix Power Holdings – solar IPP based in Rennes
Founded in 2009, Sonnedix is a well-established solar developer and investor with an installed capacity of 9.4GW with a project pipeline of over 6GW. The French firm has projects located in France, Italy, Poland, Japan, the USA, and Portugal. Their portfolio consists of 491 projects and is managed by its 587 team members across 10 countries. In May 2023, Sonnedix announced the completion of a 10-year PPA deal with Statkraft which will use the electricity generated from Sonnedix’s 68MW solar farm located in the Lazio region. Sonnedix has an installed capacity of 2GW in Italy and continues to build on its Italian presence. In May 2023, the French group also signed a 10-year PPA with Equinix for their 150MW Spanish solar site in Castilla-La Mancha.
Voltalia – solar, hydro, wind, biomass, and storage IPP based in Paris
The Parisian-based group is a rapidly growing firm specialising in wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and storage assets. Its growth is represented by its installed capacity of 1.6GW and project pipeline of 14.2GW. Voltalia has projects in operation or construction located across 20 countries. As an IPP, the firm has produced and sold over 2.8TWh around the globe. In June 2023, the firm announced the completion of its largest solar park in the UK to date which was developed thanks to a corporate PPA (CPPA) and support from Santander UK. The South Farm solar farm has an installed capacity of 49.9MW and the energy produced will be provided to the City of London Corporation.
Neoen – wind, solar and storage IPP based in Paris
Neoen is one of France and the world’s leading independent producers of renewable energy with an installed capacity of 5.6GW. The Parisian group has green infrastructure assets located in Australia, France, Finland, Mexico, Ireland, Mozambique, and Zambia. One of Neoen’s flagship assets is its Cestas solar park, with an installed capacity of 300MW, and represents France’s most powerful solar park. The firm also operates two of the world’s largest lithium-ion batteries located in Australia, with an installed capacity of 150MW and 300MW. Neoen has plans to continue its growth with plans to reach 10GW of installed capacity by the end of 2025 and 20GW by 2030. In June 2023, the firm won an Australian tender for a 219MW storage project which is expected to become operational by Q4 2024.
Image Source: Kateryna T via Unsplash (29.06.2023)