EDF chief: Networks will need massive investment


Energy networks will require major investment in resilience and flexibility to hit net zero according to EDF president and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy.

“Creating a carbon-free world is a sizeable challenge requiring the mobilisation of human inventiveness,” Lévy told the InnoEnergy TBB conference.

He said EDF’s strategy is based on “three levers; decarbonising energy use, generation and adapting electricity networks to enable these changes”.

On networks, Lévy said the electrical system will play “an increasingly central role” in decarbonisation and that the “future will be more and more electrical”.

That means networks “must become more and more resilient … and to better accommodate fluctuations in supply and demand.”

As well as voluntary curtailment of large customers, Lévy added that future flexibility will come from “modulation of electric vehicle charging and increasing stationary storage.”

Lévy said EDF aims to create 10GW of additional storage capability by 2035, including from electric vehicles via its commitment to rollout bi-directional chargers across Europe. He added that aggregation of flexibility across Europe “is a major interest for a company like ours”.

Lévy also said that floating wind farms and small nuclear reactors “appear very promising” and flagged plans to create hydrogen locally via electrolysis as “one of the levers to decarbonise industry and transport”.

Speaking at the same event, Laurent Michel – France’s General Director for Energy and Climate at the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, said public support required to decarbonise would be around €50bn for electricity and €10bn for gas over the next 10 years.

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