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French utility EDF plans $8bn investment in electricity storage project by 2035

EBR Staff Writer Published 28 March 2018

French state-owned utility Électricité de France (EDF) has announced its plan to invest €8bn to develop 10GW of electricity storage projects by 2035.

The new storage projects, which are planned to be installed across the world between during the 2018-2035 period, will be an addition to the 5GW of storage capacity being operated by the firm.

EDF, which already operates some utility-scale power storage batteries and pumped-storage hydroelectricity plants, expects to become a major European player in energy storage space with the new plan.

By offering a range of self-consumption services incorporating batteries, the company particularly want to become a key player in the residential sector in France and Europe.

For the 2018-2020 period, EDF plans to increase its research and development capabilities for energy storage by doubling investment amount to €70m.

About €15m is also planned to be allocated by the company’s EDF Nouveaux Business for projects and start-ups linked to electricity storage and flexibility, over the next two years.

EDF chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy said: "Electricity storage technologies have a potential to radically change the energy sector.

“EDF's Electricity Storage Plan is based on the expertise coming from all entities within our Group and 25 years of investment in R&D. The new limit the Group is setting is a 100% carbon-free power system by 2050.

“By its scale, the Electricity Storage Plan, like the Solar Plan, confirms EDF's ability to enable a competitive ecosystem in order to make our carbon-free future a reality."

In the next twelve months, the company intends to launch at least three battery projects to improve the performance and balance of the power system.

It also plans to extend services offering access to electricity through solar panels and batteries to Ghana.

In 2017, EDF has unveiled its plans to develop and build solar plants in France totaling 30GW of installed capacity over the period of 2020 to 2035.

Image: EDF headquarters in Paris, France. Photo: courtesy of Tangopaso/Wikipedia.org.