Electricity house of the year: ENGIE

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Electricity house of the year 2023: ENGIE

Throughout the challenging market conditions of 2022, ENGIE’s entity  Global Energy Management & Sales (GEMS) provided much-needed support to firms operating in electricity markets across the Asia‑Pacific (Apac) region. It structured numerous innovative and bespoke deals that addressed the extreme volatility and price risk, provided supply certainty and furthered clients’ crucial climate transition plans.

Varun Gujral, ENGIE 2023
Varun Gujral, ENGIE

Over the course of 2022, ENGIE added 3.9 gigawatts (GW) to its portfolio of renewables capacity and was the second-biggest seller of clean energy to corporations through power purchase agreements (PPAs), rising to rank first in 2023 so far. 

“Our wealth of expertise, best‑in‑class services in risk management and market access put us in pole position to support our clients at every step of their transitional journey to net zero,” says Varun Gujral, GEMS Apac chief executive.

GEMS has been active in the power markets of Australia, New Zealand and Singapore since 2015, and entered into the newly liberalised Japanese market – the largest electricity market in Asia after China and India – in 2020. Its wide presence across Asia had enabled GEMS to get comfortable with taking on a range of risks, structuring trades that other firms are unable to offer.

Benjamin Hanrahan, ENGIE 2023
Benjamin Hanrahan, ENGIE

In one example, GEMS received a request from a European industrial gas client to hedge a substantial exposure of Singapore power through a financial swap. “Given the illiquid market conditions, this presented a considerable challenge,” notes Benjamin Hanrahan, GEMS Apac head of power trading. GEMS was able to take this on due to the depth and breadth of its reach in the market, which afforded it the ability to find a counterparty to match the trade and hedge the risk. 

As liberalisation pushes across Apac electricity markets, so too does the trend of lowering, or completely ending, public subsidies for renewables projects. This makes corporate PPAs central to getting new renewables projects off the ground, many of which are the cornerstones of firms’ transition plans. GEMS is partnering with numerous firms across Asia to offer off-site, green corporate PPAs.  

In Australia, ENGIE is targeting the development of 2GW of renewable assets by 2030, which will help its clients achieve their emissions reductions ambitions through corporate PPAs structured by GEMS, the company says.

Pierre‑Alexandre Deplaix, ENGIE 2023
Pierre‑Alexandre Deplaix, ENGIE

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, ENGIE partnered with its key clients to secure a 30-megawatt (MW) solar project through the country’s Corporate Green Power Programme, awarded by the Malaysian Energy Commission.

“Our ambition is to enable long‑term partnerships by deploying renewable capacities in liberalising markets, in order to accompany our clients in their climate transition,” says Pierre‑Alexandre Deplaix, GEMS Apac trader, structurer and originator, green solutions.

As the power market continues to evolve, ENGIE is keen to remain at the forefront of new developments in areas such as solar, batteries and electric vehicles, which will support its clients’ energy transition plans. For example, battery energy storage systems (BESS) – an important development in addressing the intermittency of renewables – are a key element for balancing ENGIE’s energy mix, the firm says. BESS are also expected to be one of ENGIE’s growth engines, with the firm targeting 10GW of capacity by 2030.

Jules Dufournier, ENGIE 2023
Jules Dufournier, ENGIE

The firm has already made a significant move towards that target, commissioning one of the world’s largest BESS in June 2023. The 150MW/150MWh Hazelwood battery is located in Victoria, Australia, on the site of the previously decommissioned Hazelwood coal power plant. 

“This is a good example of ENGIE concretely acting to progress the energy transition,” says Jules Dufournier, GEMS Australia managing director.

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