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Investors’ enthusiasm fuelled by renewable energy sources
Faced with the urgent need to address climate challenges and close the gap between France and its European neighbours in the development of renewable energy sources, investors are stepping up their efforts and combining economic and ecological objectives.
A very fast-growing market
France is the second-largest electricity producer in Europe, after Germany. Over 70% of this electricity is of nuclear origin. About 20% is generated from renewable energy sources (water, wind, sun, etc.), with fossil energy sources accounting for the remainder.
There are plans to shut down 14 nuclear reactors by 2035 and reduce the share of fossil energy sources by 30%. The aim is for renewable energy to be the main source of electricity in France in 2035, with nuclear dropping below the 50% mark.
However, France is behind schedule on its 2020 target, and must significantly improve its performance between now and 2030, with 7% more gigawatts (GW) per year of onshore wind power and an additional 14% per year of solar power required.
Record investment in 2018
Equity financing for French “cleantech” firms soared by over 70% in 2018 to reach €1.54 billion. The renewable energy sector attracted more than half of this financing, according to the GreenUnivers survey published in its 2019 Overview of Energy Transition Markets. This amount includes collections from all sources of financing: venture capital, business angels, industrialists, crowdfunding platforms and the stock market. Investment funds alone contributed 80% of the amounts invested, including €646 million dedicated to renewable energy sources.
These green energy sources have reached a level of maturity reflected by a very significant improvement in their production costs, which are now competitive for the most mature processes, and which are meeting a growing consumer demand..
70% – this was the growth of investments in firms in the cleantech sector in 2018.
Proactive consumers eager for clean energy
More and more citizens are financing the ecological transition. They contributed €52 million to the environmental and renewable energy sector in 2018 – a record amount according to the latest Barometer Survey of crowdfunding in France, published by the Financement Participatif France (FPF) association. In addition to equity investments in companies, crowdfunders are particularly interested in financing renewable projects (wind farms, solar power plants, etc.) via platforms such as Lendosphère, Lendopolis, Lumo and Wiseed.
CAA: The leading institutional investor in onshore wind and solar power in France
Crédit Agricole Assurances and Engie have entered into a strategic partnership to create a common platform for wind and solar power asset holdings on the French market. The capacity of this platform will exceed 2 GW by the end of 2019, with 1.5 GW of wind power assets and over 500 megawatts (MW) of solar power assets.
These installed capacities make CAA the leading institutional investor for these types of assets in France, in terms of our market share in the onshore wind and solar power sectors. Our goal is carry on increasing our installed capacities through to 2022.
This strategy responds to strong societal demands. Our investments also provide equitable returns in line with our policyholders’ expectations.