GDF looks to double renewable capacity in a decade

Europe’s largest gas network operator is seeking to expand its European renewable power generation capacity to double its present strength.

GDF Suez SA (GSZ) plans to shifts its focus away from developing more historic natural gas and nuclear energy sources in the region, according to Bloomberg. The utility needs to shift focus in Europe to renewables and smaller-sized generators that are decentralized from main power grids, Chief Executive Officer Gerard Mestrallet has said.
Gerard Mestrallet
The company wants to raise renewable output capacity in Europe to 16000 MW by 2025, up from its present 8000 MW current portfolio, it said. Most output currently comes from hydroelectric dams, then wind and solar, while new developments will also come from offshore wind, tidal power and seawater pumps.

Harnessing wave and tidal forces as well as more traditional wind turbines and solar power will be the focus of the utility, executives said at a Paris conference on Tuesday.

GDF Suez is also expanding in Latin America, Asia and Middle East markets to counter sluggish growth in energy demand at home. The company is enduring the consequences of lower demand for gas-fired power in Europe and nuclear outages in Belgium.

Mestrallet said that lower oil prices may have a “marginal” effect on developing renewables in the short-term but won’t hurt the trend over the longer period. Europe’s energy shift is “lasting,” the executive said.

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