Energy networks will require major investment in areas like resilience and flexibility to achieve 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.
Lévy said EDF’s strategy is based on “three levers; decarbonising energy use, generation and adapting electricity networks to enable these changes”.
On networks, Lévy noted that electrical system will have “an increasingly central role” in decarbonisation and that the “future will be more and more electrical”.
Networks, therefore “must become more and more resilient … and to better accommodate fluctuations in supply and demand.”
Whilst the voluntary curtailment of large customers is relevant, Lévy added that future flexibility will arise from “modulation of electric vehicle charging and increasing stationary storage.”
Lévy said EDF aims to build 10GW of additional storage capability by 2035, including from electric vehicles under its commitment to rollout bi-directional chargers across Europe. He added that the aggregation of flexibility across Europe “is a major interest for a company like ours”.
Lévy also noted floating wind farms and small nuclear reactors “appear very promising” and pointed out plans to create hydrogen locally via electrolysis as “one of the levers to decarbonise industry and transport”.
Also speaking at the event, Laurent Michel – France’s General Director for Energy and Climate at the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, noted that the public support required to decarbonise would be around €50 billion for electricity and €10 billion for gas over the next decade.