EDF to invest €8 billion in electricity storage to strengthen renewables division

State-backed French energy group EDF has revealed plans to invest €8 billion by 2035 in electricity storage as it looks strengthen its global renewable energy division.

The firm plans to triple the 5GW of pumped storage hydropower it currently operates by 2035 through developing an additional 10GW of additional storage capacity.

It will focus on boosting the resilience of power grids, on individual storage for retail customers with solar panels, and on off-grid solar plus storage systems in Africa, including Ghana and Ivory Coast.

“With storage we can smooth out the intermittence of renewable energy and guarantee the performance and balance of the grids,” said EDF’s chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy.

EDF also plans to work with local partners in Africa to develop a portfolio of 1.2 million off-grid customers in Africa by 2035, equipping them with solar panels and individual battery systems.

In the domestic market, EDF’s plan reveals its latest attempt to position itself at the forefront of France’s shift towards renewable energy, as the country plans to reduce its reliance on nuclear power.

France’s 58 nuclear plants currently provide 70% of its energy, but the government will soon outline its energy plans for the next ten years, including how it will limit the prominence of nuclear power in its energy mix.

“The goal of reducing nuclear power is irrevocable,” said environment minister Nicholas Hulot in a recent interview.