At the Paris Conference, the international community reiterated the crucial aim of keeping the rise in temperature to below 2 °C. EDF, a recognised stakeholder in combatting climate change, has undertaken to produce increasingly low-carbon electricity.
UN Sustainable Development Goals concerned:
The Group’s CO2 emissions are well below those of other electricity producers, and are steadily declining. In 2015, they fell below the threshold of 100 g/kWh produced(1), that is three times less than the European sector average.
EDF Group CO2 emissions(1)
For continental France, EDF has again confirmed a historic reduction from its 2014 emissions: its energy mix in 2015 delivered the figure of 15 g/kWh, that is more than 20 times less than the European sector average.
EDF CO2 emissions
98% of the electricity generated by EDF in France is CO2-free(1)
(1) Excluding life-cycle analysis of production facilities and fuels.
A concerted industrial policy that has paid off
EDF reduced its CO2 emissions in France by more than two-thirds from 24 to 6.7 million tonnes between 1990 and 2015.
To achieve this result, EDF made changes to its production fleet. In particular, it closed 10 coal-fired plants as they emit high levels of CO2. While its production fleet still includes three such plants, they now only account for 1% of the amount of electricity generated in France. EDF supports a carbon floor price in France and Europe to help further limit the use of coal-fired plants.
This phase-out programme has been particularly active in the years 2012 to 2016 and saw the replacement of coal-fired plants with more modern gas-fired plants that emit less greenhouse gas. As a result, the Group was able to cut the CO2 emissions from its fleet of thermal power plants by more than one-third.
Reduction of EDF CO2 emissions
In the United Kingdom, EDF Energy still operates coal-fired plants that generate around 4 GW of electricity and which are crucial to ensuring the country’s balance between supply and demand. These power plants should be closed by 2025 following decisions by the UK government.
In 2015, the Group launched a strategic review of its assets outside France, with the intention of helping reduce their carbon emissions and optimising their operation. On the one hand, this concerned fossil fuel-fired electricity plants in continental Europe and, on the other hand, its fossil fuel production and trading not directly linked to its core business.
A unique mix of nuclear and renewable energy
EDF Group has the foremost hydropower capacity in the European Union. It is also one of Europe’s leading producers of electricity from renewable sources.
It is highly committed to developing renewable energy, notably wind, solar and hydropower, backed by its nuclear plants as the main source of power. By 2030, the Group wants to double its worldwide production from renewable sources of energy from 28 GW to 50 GW.
To diversify its sources of finance, in 2013 and 2015, EDF Group issued two green bonds for €1.4 billion and US$1.25 billion respectively.
The funds raised from the 1st green bond have now all been allocated to finance 13 onshore wind and solar photovoltaic projects in France, Canada and the United State, resulting in:
a total installed capacity of 1.8 GW ;
a potential annual production of 7 TWh ;
3 to 4 million tonnes of CO2 avoided.
US$ 500 million of the second green bond has already been allocated to eligible projects.
In France, to support the development of wind and solar power and manage their variability, EDF has been working on making the operation of its nuclear power plants more flexible. As a result, it is now possible to rapidly increase production at some nuclear power plants to offset a drop in wind or solar output; or, conversely, rapidly drop nuclear production when wind and solar production ramp up. Today, the reactors in EDF’s nuclear fleet can modulate around 80% of their power in under 30 minutes. This capability is not found anywhere else in the world.
Video in French version with English subtitles (select language with parameters then activate substitles).