EDF acquires majority stake in Chinese wind developer
French utility giant EDF has purchased a majority 80 percent stake in Hong Kong-based UPC Asia Wind Management (AWM).
The company’s renewables arm, called EDF Energies Nouvelles, did not disclose a value for the deal — though it did claim to be the first major European company to enter the Chinese wind market.
UPC China and US investor Global Environment Fund hold the remaining 20 percent of AWM.
At a press conference in Paris, the CEO of Energies Nouvelles, Antoine Cahuzac, said that the prospects for wind development in China are the largest in the world. EDF aims to reach 2GW of installed capacity in the country within five years.
UPC China currently has about 174MW of wind capacity in operation, 130MW under construction and about 1GW in the pipeline.
"Our ambition is to build between 200MW to 300MW per year so as to reach 2GW of installed capacity within 5 years," said Energies Nouvelles Chief Operating Officer, Bruno Fyot. "This will make China one of our biggest bases of installed capacity."
The AWM deal comes as heavily-indebted EDF is selling off coal and gas assets. Cahuzac has also said that the company may invest in Chinese solar energy and renewable energy management systems further down the line.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.