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Total steps up renewables drive with EREN, GreenFlex deals

Oil major Total moved forward with its plan to expand in the renewable energy sector on Tuesday with investments in EREN RE and Greenflex.

Total said it was buying a 23 percent stake in renewables company EREN RE for 237.5 million euros ($285 million), and added it could later acquire full control of the business.

It also announced the takeover of Greenflex, a French company specialising in finding ways to use energy more efficiently, which is forecasting 2017 revenues of more than 350 million euros. Total did not give a value for that deal.

The company said the deals formed part of its strategy to expand its solar energy and wind power business.

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“EREN RE’s momentum will allow us to accelerate our growth in solar energy and move us into the wind power market. The agreement with EREN RE is a major step towards our objective of achieving 5 GW (gigawatts) of installed capacity in 5 years,” said Philippe Sauquet, president of Total’s gas, renewables and power units, in a statement.

Sauquet added Total wanted GreenFlex to be the “linchpin of its growth in the energy efficiency industry in Europe.”

Europe’s biggest oil companies, which have been bruised by pressure on oil prices over the last two years, have been intensifying their push into renewable energy as they hunt for new sources of future revenue.

Last year, Total’s start-up ventures unit acquired a stake in wind turbines company United Wind, while Total also announced plans to instal solar panels at 5,000 of its service stations.

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