Interviews – Rising renewable energy technology: An interview with Christian Hürlimann of MET Group

Are you able to inform me a bit extra about MET Group and what it does?

MET Group is an built-in vitality firm, headquartered in Switzerland. We’re lively in pure gasoline and energy markets throughout Europe, additionally specializing in vitality infrastructure and industrial property. We think about the expansion of renewable energy technology as a key a part of our enterprise technique going ahead. MET is among the quickest rising vitality firms in Europe, in 2021 our consolidated gross sales income amounted to EUR 18,1 billion.

What’s the extent of your renewables portfolio and what applied sciences does it cowl?

MET goals for a 500 MW renewables portfolio consisting of photo voltaic and onshore wind installations to be in operation by 2023, and an extra 500 MW by 2026. We’re concentrating on additional progress of wind and photo voltaic tasks throughout the European Union, looking for to play an lively position within the ongoing vitality transition.

Climate-dependent inexperienced energy manufacturing poses a problem to homeowners, traders and operators as a result of strict calls for for exact scheduling within the energy provide. That’s the reason MET Group is within the vitality storage sector as effectively. Moreover, now we have launched our first R&D undertaking analyzing potential different strategies of utilising renewable vitality sources, and the way optimised automated algorithms can stability weather-dependent, intermittent energy technology.

Moreover Italy and Spain, markets you say you’re increasing into, what different markets are you current in?

We have already got photo voltaic and wind parks working in Hungary and Bulgaria. As MET Group goals to construct a geographically diversified renewables portfolio, we goal Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Italy and Spain, the place the funding atmosphere for renewable vitality is bettering. From a enterprise mannequin perspective, our undertaking portfolio is counting on each state-backed coverage assist (feed-in-tariff or CfD), and market-based revenues (PPAs and/or structured hedging).

What areas in Italy and Spain are you concentrating on, and with what clear vitality applied sciences?

Our intention is to develop greenfield tasks in addition to to accumulate ready-to-build and working property, no matter particular areas. MET Group focuses each on early and late-stage photo voltaic and onshore wind tasks, while aiming to diversify geographically and from a technological perspective.

Who’re your primary companions, in Italy and Spain notably?

In each international locations, we straight work with native tasks builders who’re skilled in securing land and have a deep understanding of grid connection options, particular undertaking constraints, in addition to the required authorisation processes for photovoltaic and onshore wind tasks.

How are you supporting your tasks there with assist mechanisms, notably vitality storage?

As vitality storage applied sciences turn into extra price environment friendly, we expect an inflection level within the trade quickly. The know-how can be utilized for numerous functions, as an illustration mitigating the danger of the cannibalization technique of photo voltaic vegetation or lowering balancing wants.

How do you envisage your actions in Italy and Spain, and elsewhere if notably lively in the mean time, positively affecting the affordability of vitality for the top person?

MET’s growth technique focuses on European markets the place we have already got a neighborhood presence, constructing on our current operations throughout the Group. The problem is that it’s a must to be a longtime participant in these markets. Our gross sales subsidiaries supply inexperienced energy and providers to their prospects, and the proportion of companions adopting renewable vitality merchandise is consistently growing.

Have the present vitality value rises, linked to gasoline, together with the Ukraine disaster, affected your exercise just lately and if that’s the case, how?

MET Group is a strong, diversified, and risk-averse vitality firm. Our enterprise mannequin makes us resilient, and we’re ready to deal with completely different situations. MET has had a profitable yr, we have been in a position to protect our monetary stability. Our intention is to have a diversified asset portfolio able to offering balancing providers at aggressive costs on a regular basis. This is the reason we put money into CCGT, gasoline engines, CHP and vitality storage.

How are you safeguarding your photo voltaic tasks in opposition to heat-induced degradation, which is or might turn into a specific concern within the Mediterranean as local weather change will increase?

PV module suppliers often present a minimum of 10 years of product guarantee and a minimal of 25 years of efficiency guarantee for his or her merchandise. We often spend vital assets to remember in regards to the precise situation of our property and we monitor them, together with the degradation of the PV modules.

What different measures are you taking to make vitality cleaner, extra environment friendly and extra inexpensive?

In lots of our tasks, we additionally embrace agrovoltaic options to make sure ongoing agricultural actions, and even enhance the agricultural yield by offering shading and wind shields to guard the land and the cultivation.

Within the present market atmosphere with excessive vitality costs, we will present aggressive inexperienced energy from our property on to our shoppers domestically, or additionally throughout borders based mostly on company Buy Energy Agreements (cPPA), together with the required Ensures of Origin (GO) to substantiate the ability manufacturing from renewable assets, utilized know-how and asset location.

How do you see issues understanding for you in, say, ten years’ time?

We may have a multi-GW pan-European portfolio in operation. The portfolio will probably be effectively diversified geographically, technology-wise with onshore wind and photovoltaics, and commercially with regard to off-taking. As well as, on-site storage and sector coupling setups (e.g. inexperienced hydrogen manufacturing) are selectively utilized to extend the mixing of the produced energy with the general vitality demand – bettering the effectivity, flexibility and reliability of the entire manufacturing portfolio in relation to vitality end-use.

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MET Group