The European renewable energy company, ERG is committed to helping the Scottish government progress its goal of achieving a zero-carbon economy by 2040. ERG, which is currently developing four wind farms in the UK, is already in the top ten of European onshore wind operators.
It is the leading renewable energy producer in its home country of Italy and has significant operations across Europe, with ambitious plans to add further wind farms to its portfolio, both through new greenfield projects and through acquisitions.
In addition to wind power, ERG is active across the renewables and low carbon energy generation spectrum. It is among the top five solar energy producers in Italy and in the top ten for hydroelectric energy production in its home country.
ERG also generates high-efficiency and low environmental impact thermoelectric power with its combined cycle natural gas turbine (CCGT) plant in south-east Sicily.
ERG currently has wind farms in seven countries, including France, Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe, and projects underway in the UK and Poland. It’s installed wind capacity so far is almost 2 GW – up from just 310 MW of installed capacity in 2010 – while the power generated from wind in 2019 amounted to 4,000 GWh. This equates to the power consumption of just over 1 million Scottish households in a year.
In 2018, the company published its five-year business plan for the period from 2018 to 2022. This envisaged building out its wind farm capacity by a further 850 MW from 1,814 MW at the start of the five-year plan. To achieve this, ERG had to increasingly look abroad, and in particular at the UK and Scotland,”.
In particular, ERG has been greatly encouraged by Scotland’s world-leading commitment to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions across the nation to net-zero by 2045. This is five years earlier than the rest of the UK’s commitment to achieve net-zero by 2050.
“From our perspective as an Italian company, with business interests across Europe, it seems clear that the UK is at a critical and fascinating point in its history,” (Luca Bragoli, Head of Public Affairs at ERG, told The Herald. He added that it was hugely encouraging to ERG, as a specialist provider of renewable energy, that in June 2019 the UK became the first country in the world to set a legally binding commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
ERG is delighted that the UK will be hosting COP 26, in partnership with Italy, in Glasgow from 1st to 12th November this year. The UK and Scotland’s progressive stance on climate change and Scotland’s abundant natural energy resources, in particular, make it one of the countries where ERG expects to experience the greatest growth in wind power installations.
“We currently have a significant pipeline of projects in Scotland and Northern Ireland, amounting to some 250 MW of generation capacity, and we are committed to further growth,” Luca Bragoli, Head of Public Affairs at ERG, said.
ERG’s commitment to making itself one of the Europe’s leading renewable power developers can be seen both in its present portfolio of projects, and in the company’s own history. ERG was founded back in 1938 when the company’s founder, Edoardo Garrone, was granted a licence by the Mayor of Genoa, to trade in oil and gas products.
Nine years later ERG began producing fuels at its San Quirico Refinery in Genoa and was soon building a major reputation as an oil and petroleum products company. It added another refinery, in Priolo (Sicily), in 1975, which was soon processing 12 million tonnes of crude oil a year.
However, by 2006 ERG was taking its first steps into the renewable energy world, with the acquisition of EnerTAD, an Italian Stock Exchange listed company, with wind farms in both Italy and France. Within seven years, ERG was the leading wind farm operator in Italy and had completed its exit from the refining business thanks to a radical change of its business model
The sale of another ERG operation, TotalErg, in 2018, completed the company’s exit from the oil industry, and set the company firmly on the path of becoming a purely renewables operator on an international scale.
At the start of 2019, ERG acquired the lion’s share of a company that manages two solar energy power facilities in the Lazio region, in central Italy, which includes the city of Rome. That built on ERG’s existing solar power generation capacity, making it one of the five leading solar power operators in Italy, and complementing its existing wind, hydroelectric and natural gas generation operations.
In the UK, ERG is currently working on the development of several onshore wind farm projects in Scotland and in Northern Ireland.
The Scottish projects include Creag Riabhach in Sutherland and Sandy Knowe wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway. At the two sites ERG has been granted consent to construct 92 and 90 MW respectively. A significant addition to ERG’s wind portfolio. .
In Northern Ireland it is busy constructing two projects, the 25 MW wind farm, Craiggore and the 48 MW Evishagaran wind farm, both of which are in County Londonderry.
In its latest Sustainability Report to shareholders, which details ERG’s progress on sustainability issues, ERG emphasises just how central renewable power generation is to the global fight against Climate Change
“For the first time in history, human beings and their activities are the main causes of the geographical, structural and climate changes facing the planet. In order not to prejudice future generations, we need a sustainable growth model. Energy and the way it is produced is at the heart of this momentous challenge. The growth of renewables generation is one of the key enablers for addressing it and ERG intends to be at the forefront of this effort,” it says. https://www.heraldscotland.com/…/19025513.ergs…/