By Vera Eckert, Tom Käckenhoff and Christoph Steitz
BERLIN (Reuters) -Portugal’s largest utility Energias de Portugal (EDP) wants to build capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) in Germany’s solar market by 2026, its chief executive said on Tuesday, fleshing out the group’s plans for Europe’s top economy.
The comments come as EDP has embarked on a 25 billion euro ($27 billion) global investment push to boost its renewables and grids business between the 2023-2026 period, with 2 billion earmarked for Germany.
“Germany is a large market and it has plenty of growth potential,” Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade told Reuters on the sidelines of the Handelsblatt energy summit in Berlin.
He said in 2024 alone EDP wants to develop 150 MW of solar capacity in Germany, up from zero currently, highlighting the growing interest of big energy groups in the market to grow their renewables business.
Utility-scale solar plays a significant role in EDP’s expansion push and accounts for 40% of the planned capital expenditure.
Stilwell d’Andrade said momentum in Germany was strong, citing a clear pro-environment commitment, falling costs of renewables technology and a stronger focus on energy as a matter of national security following the Ukraine war.
“For these three reasons, we think that Europe is going to have this huge amount of investment over many years, and Germany for us is a key market,” he said.
EDP is the major shareholder in EDPR, which in 2022 bought 70% of Germany’s Kronos Solar Projects, hoping to build on that company’s presence in a number of European countries, including France, Britain and the Netherlands.
Kronos Solar’s activities were creating opportunities to expand in wind power, hydrogen and energy storage technologies, he said.
“Storage is one of the missing pieces of the energy transition puzzles,” said Stilwell d’Andrade, who serves as CEO of both EDP and EDPR.
($1 = 0.9184 euros)
(Reporting by Vera Eckert, Tom Kaeckenhoff and Christoph Steitz; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Ed Osmond)