This €8bn investment will sit on top of the 5GW already operated by the group. EDF will target the residential sector in France and Europe and has also made Africa a priority market.

The French utility said it will double storage research and development to €70m for the next three years, with its innovation arm EDF Nouveaux Business to allocate €15m – a third of its investments – to projects and start-ups linked to storage and flexibility.

 “Electricity storage technologies have a potential to radically change the energy sector,” said the group’s chief executive Jean-Bernard Lévy. “EDF’s electricity storage plan is based on the expertise coming from all entities within our Group and 25 years of investment in R&D.”

EDF will launch at least three battery projects in the next 12 months, and extends its service offering access to electricity via solar panels and batteries to Ghana after 15,000 installations in Ivory Coast.

The move forms part of EDF’s aim to develop a portfolio of 1.2 million off-grid customers, currently without access to electricity, by 2035.

Modernise or die

It shows the company’s willingness to adapt and find a new role in an energy system which is undergoing the transition of decarbonisation, digitisation and decentralisation.

A recent report by industry experts claimed that the likes of Centrica, E.ON and EDF must decide whether they are going to attempt to embrace or block the disruptive forces they are facing within the energy system.

The latter approach would be “a fool’s errand”, according to the ‘Wise Minds’ report developed by sustainability non-profit organisation Forum for the Future – especially in light of the increased uptake of renewable powerenergy storage and electric vehicles.

George Ogleby

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