Why is this 4,000 meter hole so important for Renault?

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Today, in addition to the climate crisis, the war in Ukraine forces us to accelerate decarbonization. And precisely, in this area, the Renault group has just presented new partnerships with players in the energy sector with a view to accelerating its plans.

Among these partnerships, there is one signed with ENGIE, with a view to obtaining energy through a 4,000 meter hole at the Douai plant. More specifically, it is a deep geothermal project, consisting in obtaining energy through hot water.

Look for hot water at 4,000 meters depth

According to Renault, at the end of 2023, ENGIE will start drilling, in order to obtain hot water, between 130° and 140°, at a depth of 4,000 meters. The technology would be operational from 2025, which will make it possible to use this heat for heating, but also for industrial processes.

The group says the facility will be able to supply 40 MW of power. And it plans to convert this energy into carbon-free electricity in the summer, when there are no significant heating needs. At the end of a cycle, the water is returned to its environment.

“The technological expertise represented by this geothermal solution applied to a large industrial site demonstrates our know-how and our ability to innovate to support our customers in their energy transition. We provide virtuous, resilient solutions that guarantee the highest operational performance”said Cécile Prévieu, Deputy Managing Director in charge of Energy Solutions activities at ENGIE.

Renault aims to eliminate 70% of its gas needs through renewable solutions. And the partnership with ENGIE, over 15 years, will help the group achieve this objective.

Renault aims for net zero carbon

If the agreement with ENGIE only concerns Douai, it should be noted that Renault has set itself the objective of having carbon neutral factories in Europe by 2030 and in the world by 2050. “The Group is establishing a concrete, far-reaching plan that provides for an acceleration of industrial decarbonization through photovoltaics, geothermal energy and biomass, among other initiatives”says its press release.

Renault has also formalized a contract signed with Voltalia. This is a green electricity supply contract that will meet up to half of its needs in France by 2027.
In addition, Renault has also signed a 15-year contract with Dalkia, a subsidiary of EDF. This contract will allow the Renault plant in Maubeuge to benefit from carbon-free heat, via “a biomass boiler and waste heat recovery systems”.

Renault estimates that this facility, with a capacity of 15 MW, will cover 65% of the plant’s gas needs by 2025. For Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group, these announcements are an important step for the group , as part of its objectives in terms of carbon neutrality.

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