Engie Aims for Net Zero, Redoubles Gender Equality EffortsBy Cas Biekmann | Tue, 06/01/2021 - 14:23
International electric utility leader Engie reported ambitious renewable energy development objectives, which constitute part of its efforts to reach net zero carbon by 2045. Engie is has projects like the Tres Mesas III wind farm and the Villa Ahumada Solar Park.
A significant part of Engie’s portfolio remains rooted in its traditional non-renewable energy burning fossil fuels to produce power. The company reported that it has developed 31GW of renewable energy, around one third of its assets. To reach its decarbonization goals, Engie aims to develop its annual portfolio growth to increase up to 4 GW between 2022 and 2025 and by 6 GW between 2026 and 2030. A pipeline of 56GW consisting of solar and wind both onshore and offshore serves as the foundation for these ambitions.
Reducing Engie’s geographic footprint is a crucial part of this strategy. Engie will reduce its participation to less than 30 countries by 2023, compared to 70 countries in 2018. What this means for Mexico, where the energy sector is going through some uncertain times, is not clear yet. Furthermore, Engie is to move away from more complex services and will simplify its amount of business units, focusing on infrastructure and renewable energy instead.
“We are repositioning ENGIE to capture significant growth opportunities. The group is committed today to embrace its role of industrial leader, with clear priorities, focused on operational excellence and delivery. A simpler ENGIE will be uniquely positioned to drive an affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy transition,” said CEO Catherine MacGregor, who was appointed in 2021.
Despite uncertainties the Mexican electricity sector faces under President López Obrador’s reforms, opportunity for new developments remain available to Engie. Fernando Tovar, CEO and Country Manager of Engie Mexico, believes there are still opportunities to be unlocked. . Acknowledging uncertainty poses a risk for existing and new investment, he spoke about the importance forward during MEF2021. “Engie is a multinational company that respects the rules of the country where it operates. If the government wants to change those rules, we will adapt to the new situation and look for new opportunities,” he said. Cooperating with state electric utility CFE offers good potential, he added.
Furthermore, Engie reports it has redoubled its efforts to foster gender equality by signing a commitment with UN Women through all its Latin American entities, including Mexico, to follow the 7 Principles for the Empowerment of Women (WEPs). The principles are a set of best business practices that promote equality in all areas of management through the creation of development opportunities for women within public and private companies, their participation in leadership and decision-making, equal pay and offers of education, training and professional growth. “This commitment to UN Women perfectly complements current plans for female inclusion in the energy sector. For example, in Mexico we have already reached 31 percent of women in leadership positions, and it is just one of several objectives that we will promote in terms of gender equality within the Group,” said Suzana Blum, Vice President of Human Resources, Communication, Social Responsibility, Safety and Health for Engie.