EDF announced its first wind power development project in China on Tuesday, after the acquisition of the Chinese firm UPC Asia Wind Management (AWM) by its renewable energy subsidiary EDF Energies Nouvelles.
According to the French renewable energy company, China is a priority market that has a strong growth potential in the coming years. In this regard, the Chinese government intends to attain 200 gigawatts (GW) in installed wind energy capacity by 2020, which represents an average increase of 15 GW per year.
Through this acquisition, EDF Energies Nouvelles now holds 80 percent of the shares of the Hong Kong-based company UPC AWM, which develops and builds wind projects in China. The remaining 20 percent of the shares remain in the hands of its partners, the local developer UPC China and the U.S.-based investment fund Global Environment Fund (GEF).
EDF is Europe’s first major energy company to move into the Chinese renewable energy market. According to the French company, their new partnership with China in the wind energy sector is backed by EDF’s strong roots in the country, with over 30 years of joint activities in nuclear, thermal, hydro generation, and energy services.
Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman and chief executive officer of EDF Group, stated: “Our goal is to accelerate our low-carbon generation, with a diversified energy mix where nuclear and renewable energy balance each other. Our development in high-potential markets, such as China is a full part of this dynamic process.”
EDF now operates more than 10 GW in installed wind capacity in the world through this new project in China. In fact, development, construction or operation in the country helps increase its wind energy portfolio by over 1.3 GW.
EDF has developed a diversified generation mix based on nuclear power, hydro, new renewable energies and thermal energy. The group generated consolidated sales of 75 billion euros (83 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015, of which 47.2 percent was outside France.