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Storengy/ Engie pushing to be among leading geothermal companies by 2030

Storengy - Vision 2030 - Geothermal Energy (source: Storengy)
Alexander Richter 20 Dec 2018

French energy company Storengy, a subsidiary of French multinational electric utility company Engie, has announced a strong and ambitious business strategy for its geothermal energy. The company pushes forward to become a world leader in the geothermal sector, across its segments of power generation, but also heating and cooling.

In a press conference late last month, French energy firm STORENGY – a company of large France-based energy utility ENGIE, shared how it sees “Geothermal energy at the heart of the energy transition” and its plans to become a world leader in geothermal energy by 2030.

Storengy is mostly known for its natural gas business, that has increasingly pushed a low-carbon energy strategy for generation and storage. Part of that story to push itself as innovative partner for a new energy world, the company has also pushed ahead with geothermal energy solutions.

As part of Engie, Storengy had to adjust its legal structure based on new regulations on storage activities in France. Under the new structure, Storengy provides expertise, development & services, and business support with subsidiaries in France (regulated), in the UK and in Germany. As part of its business the company is focusing in geothermal energy, renewable gases and international storage.

In its presentation to the press, Storengy highlighted the great opportunities provided by geothermal energy, describing it as a perfect fit for the energy transition.

There are many benefits that geothermal energy provides in the context of transitioning to a low-carbon and clean energy market. Providing a sustainable energy source, that is CO2-free, can generate energy on a small physical footprint and is available around the clock. But there are additional business benefits, such as there is no market exposure to external fuel costs and no intermittency-linked costs (grid, additional generation and storage). Furthermore it is a local resource that can be tapped into locally with secure supply.

As part of its activities, Storengy sees itself in a particular important role for heating and cooling networks based on a strong need for development to improve urban air quality. Furthermore there are expected significant efforts on decentralised solutions for sustainable buildings and eco-districts with strong potential in Northern Europe but also for the rest of Europe and worldwide. France has set itself a target of 38% of heat by 2030 to come from renewable sources. At the end of 2017 that stands at 21%, of which 3.8% is geothermal energy-based.

But there is also an increasing role for geothermal for power generation with an expected growth of 350 MW/ year, especially in Asia, East Africa and Latin America.

The company sees geothermal energy as a highly fragmented niche market with few major players and sees its mother company Engie as one of the few energy companies to have the full skillset needed to develop geothermal energy in all markets.

The company aims to become a world leader in geothermal energy by 2030, with a strategy focused on electricity generation, heating and cooling networks, as well as decentralised heat and cold generation.

A key success factor in this strategy is Storengy’s know-how and operational experience in subsurface activities.

Today, Storengy has a diversified project portfolio for geothermal power generation with two projects in Indonesia (Muara Laboh and Randau Dedap), as well as three geothermal exploration permits in Mexico for projects to be developed in partnership with Reykjavik Geothermal.

The company further works on pilot projects to demonstrate innovative concepts. The first project, developed in partnership with Graziella Green Power, is a zero-emission power plant developed in Castelnuovo Val Di Cecina, in the heart of the geothermal fields of Tuscany/ Italy. The other project is in the Massif Central in France, with a new approach to reduce risks and costs in exploration and resource identification. The project is developed in partnership with TLS Geothermics.  Both projects are to be commissioned in 2022 and could support replication across a wider portfolio of projects.

The company though also pushes a strategy on heating and cooling networks. There the company put a spotlight on a project in Bordeaux, France. There the company is already working on a geothermal energy heating plant and network with construction ongoing. The company though also has additional projects in the region of Alsace in three areas.

In addition, Storengy is also working on very-low temperature geothermal energy and cold and heat storage projects, this with use of heat pumps. The company is there looking at Europe, particularly northern Europe, with a focus on France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria with major potential and strong market share potential for Storengy.

In its 2030 vision, the company pushes forward a diverse geothermal energy package that is unique in its complete coverage of all segments of geothermal from power generation, to direct use for heating and cooling, but also low-temperature geo-exchange applications.

Source: Company information