Renault Group Accelerates Decarbonisation Plan for Plants in France

Bennett  Oghifo

As part of its Renaulution strategy, Renault Group has announced an acceleration of the decarbonisation plan for its industrial sites with three strategic and unprecedented partnerships to achieve its energy transition objectives. 

According to a statement issued by the automaker, “This new stage materialised recently with Voltalia for the largest green electricity supply contract in France – for the French factories of the Group; with ENGIE for the first deep geothermal project on a European industrial site, in Douai; with Dalkia, EDF Group, for the installation of a biomass boiler, in Maubeuge.”

Committed to the energy transition for more than 10 years and reaffirmed in the Climate Plan in April 2021, the Group confirms its commitments to achieve net zero carbon at its ElectriCity plants in Hauts-de-France by 2025, in Europe by 2030 and worldwide by 2050.  The Group is drawing up a large-scale concrete plan to accelerate industrial decarbonization via photovoltaics, geothermal energy and biomass, among other initiatives.

Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group, said: “Today we are taking a strategic step towards achieving carbon neutrality in our plants. Thanks to this partnership signed  with Voltalia, ElectriCity will become the Group’s first production hub to be supplied with carbon-free and competitive electricity. And we don’t stop there! We are already working on the next step of our plan and are working towards carbon-free heat to power our factories. In Douai, we are proud to launch with ENGIE one of the most ambitious decarbonisation projects on a European industrial site: the installation of deep geothermal energy. Finally, we are very pleased to partner with Dalkia to launch a biomass boiler project at the Maubeuge plant. We take responsibility, as a leading car manufacturer, to innovate and reduce the carbon footprint of our plants.”

Renault Group and Voltalia sign the largest green electricity supply contract in France.

Renault Group and Voltalia sign France’s largest long-term renewable electricity supply agreement (Corporate Power Purchasing Agreement) for a capacity of 350 megawatts representing the production of approximately 500 gigawatt hours per year by 2027. With a duration of 15 years, it is an unprecedented commitment in France in terms of power. This long-term agreement will enable Renault Group to cover up to 50% of the electricity consumption of the manufacturer’s production activities in France in 2027.

Voltalia will install photovoltaic panels on French territory for a capacity of 100 megawatts from 2025. The capacity made available to Renault by Voltalia will increase steadily over the following years, reaching a total of 350 megawatts in 2027. This agreement will cover Cléon’s electric activities as well as all the sustainable electricity needs of the ElectriCity cluster, the largest and most competitive electric vehicle production centre in Europe whose ambition is to produce 500,000 vehicles per year by 2025.

Sébastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia, said: “Voltalia is proud to be a privileged partner of this new stage of Renault Group’s Climate Plan and to actively contribute to its objective of net zero carbon for the plants in the ElectriCity cluster. Providing renewable, carbon-free and competitive electricity to reduce CO2 emissions is Voltalia’s daily mission. This major partnership delights us and illustrates our ability to be a key player in green electricity solutions in France.”

Renault Group and ENGIE are developing a deep geothermal energy project at the Douai plant, an unprecedented project in Europe.

This large-scale project is integrated as part of a Heat Purchase Agreement (HPA) with the aim of supplying the plant with carbon-free heat, replacing 70% of its gas needs from local and renewable sources. The partnership would span 15 years. Renault Group will thus strengthen its leading position in the decarbonisation of its industrial sites through this commitment.

At the end of 2023, ENGIE, through its subsidiary ENGIE Solutions, will begin drilling work at the Douai plant to draw hot water (130-140°C) at a depth of 4,000 metres to capture the calories needed for the plant’s industrial and heating process needs from 2025. The geothermal water will then be returned to its natural environment. Once implemented, this geothermal technology would provide a power of nearly 40 MW continuously. In summer, when the need for heat is lower, geothermal energy could be used to produce carbon-free electricity.

Cécile Prévieu, Executive Vice President in charge of Energy Solutions, said: “We are proud to be one of the partners that Renault has trusted to decarbonise its activities. The technological expertise represented by this geothermal solution applied to a large industrial site demonstrates our know-how and our ability to innovate to support our customers in their energy transition. We provide virtuous, resilient solutions that guarantee the highest operational performance.”

Renault Group and Dalkia, EDF Group, join forces to supply carbon-free heat to the Maubeuge plant.

Renault Group and Dalkia, an EDF Group subsidiary specialising in renewable energies, have signed a 15-year partnership to supply carbon-free heat to the Maubeuge Renault plant through the installation of a biomass boiler and waste heat recovery systems on site. With a capacity of 15 MW, this boilers should enable the plant to cover 65% of its gas needs from local and renewable sources by 2025.

Sylvie Jéhanno, CEO of Dalkia, said: “I would like to thank Renault Group for placing its trust in us. The decarbonisation of industry is at the heart of our activities and our teams are very committed to making this biomass heating plant project at the Maubeuge plant a benchmark for the region’s energy transition!”

The decarbonisation plan concerns all Renault Group sites on the four continents where the Group operates.  To avoid the use of fossil fuels, and to make this transition to renewable energy, Renault Group is surrounded by a network of partners to deploy its decarbonization strategy around the world.

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