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GDF SUEZ plans renewables charge

French utility to double European capacity to 16 GW by 2025.

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Isabelle Kocher
Isabelle Kocher

GDF SUEZ is the latest European energy giant to announce plans to focus more on renewable projects.

The French utility, one of the most active multinationals in the Gulf, aims to double its power generation capacity from renewable energy in Europe by 2025, with marine energies at the heart of its strategy, Reuters reports.

Deputy CEO Isabelle Kocher told reporters that GDF SUEZ would have renewables capacity of 21 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2015 and is accelerating investment in the sector.

"Nearly half of the capacity that we are developing is in renewables, which are not marginal but totally central for GDF SUEZ," she said on Tuesday.

The group operates 17.8 GW of renewable energy capacity worldwide, or 15% of its total, of which 7.8 GW is in Europe and 10 GW outside the region. By 2025 it wants to have 16 GW of renewable capacity in Europe.

Most of its existing renewables capacity is in hydropower, which accounts for 51% in Europe and 87% outside. Wind power accounts for 36% in Europe and 11% elsewhere.

But the group is also developing new technologies, with a strong focus on marine energies such as fixed and floating offshore wind, marine currents and systems using pumped sea water.

German company E.ON announced late last year it would split its conventional and renewable power generation divisions into separate companies in a move aimed at adapting to fundamental changes in European energy markets.

Conventional power generation has been hard hit in Europe, especially Germany, by the push for more renewable generation capacity backed by government subsidies.

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