France’s EDF enters China’s rooftop solar market


EDF Energies Nouvelles, the renewable energy arm of French power giant, EDF, is to establish a joint venture (JV) in China with global clean energy investor, Asia Clean Capital (ACC), with the specific aim to target the nation’s growing distributed rooftop solar market.

Within China, the rooftop PV market offers a wealth of opportunity, and is led by ACC, which has the largest portfolio of projects under its belt. In 2017, around 250,000 rooftop PV arrays were installed nationwide, which is a vanishingly small figure for a country with 1.6 billion people and an insatiable solar thirst.

However, there is growing expectation that this segment will expand over the coming years, with Trina Solar estimating that around 50 million households have the potential to host solar, and a residential market size of 250 GW alone.

IHS Markit estimates that as many as 400,000 residential PV systems will be installed in China this year, while the C&I space promises to be even larger.

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By partnering with EDF, ACC believes that it can rapidly widen its rooftop reach in China. “We are tremendously excited to work with EDF Energies Nouvelles, given their unparalleled experience and expertise in renewable energy worldwide,” said ACC CEO, Thomas Lapham. “We will tap our respective advantages and help more companies generate and use green electricity.”

EDF has been active in China for more than 30 years across various power sectors, including nuclear and renewables. Hence, the firm will likely be able to efficiently tap its sales and logistics channels to support ACC’s development and distribution plans.

In Europe and the U.S., EDF Energies Nouvelles has plenty of experience in distributed renewable energy that will set the firm in good stead in China, added the company’s COO, Bruno Fyot.

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