Born in 1998 following the merging of two Générale des Eaux subsidiaries, Compagnie Générale de Chauffe and Esys Montenay, it was in 2000 that Dalkia opened up its capital to the French electricity provider EDF, following an agreement between the provider and Vivendi Environmental. Representing the Energy Services Division of Veolia Environment, Dalkia is one of Europe’s leading energy companies, boasting operations in 35 countries and achieving managed revenues of €8.9 billion in 2012.
The company provides innovative solutions to support the sustainable growth of cities and businesses. In an era defined by climate change, scarce resources and volatile energy prices, Dalkia offers clients proven expertise in developing, constructing and operating greener and economical energy systems.
Involved in every step of the energy chain, from decentralised production to demand-side management and optimised distribution, Dalkia operates with one goal in mind and that is to improve energy performance. The company’s activities involve energy infrastructure operation, the design and management of high-efficiency systems, and energy consumption management. The services it offers include heating and cooling systems, multi-technical and thermal services, industrial utilities, comprehensive building management and associated special services.
Building on its own extensive experience in operating cooling and heating networks, optimising industrial utilities, upgrading the energy performance of buildings and developing alternative and renewable energies, Dalkia offers its customers across the globe made-to-order solution designed to lower their energy use and improve the environmental and economic performance of their facilities.
Using energy audits Dalkia is able to develop and implement decentralised solutions for energy and environmental efficiency before then deploying and operating these solutions at its customers’ sites. Due to the fact that Dalkia manages more than 100,000 energy facilities its customers benefit from substantial economies of scale and from its ability to replace frequently-fluctuating process with favourable tariffs, from the purchase of energy to operations maintenance. Dalkia’s employees are then tasked with converting said energy into heat, cooling, compressed air and electricity at its customers’ site, while maximising plant efficiency.
The company always strives to work alongside the local authorities and manufacturers it serves, be it in cities or at production sites, in order to positively manage their energy use. It is this approach that makes Dalkia different from those energy specialists that focus predominantly on the centralised production and transport of gas or electricity. In contrast to such specialists Dalkia considers itself to be a manager of local energy infrastructures.
In facing down the challenges of the 21st Century, Dalkia has diversified during the course of its lifetime to become a provider of innovative solutions that are contributing to the sustainable development of its clients. Among the technologies it has invested in are cogeneration, solar power, geothermal power, heat source capture from incineration and biomass. The company’s efforts in the last mentioned have largely occurred in Europe to date and include the development and network connection of France’s largest biomass energy generation plant in Cergy Pontoise, which provides heat and water for up to 70,000 people, and Pannonpower, one of Europe’s largest biomass cogeneration plants, which is based in Hungary.
Dalkia offers state-of-the-art solutions to some of today's most daunting issues. These include reconciling urban and economic development achieving collective comfort and protecting the environment. The company considers itself to be a key player in the control of energy demand, reduction of polluting emissions and greenhouse gases and the development of renewable energies.
The ways in which it assists in this global cause include its offering of optimised management systems to achieve substantial energy savings through better energy efficiency, its use of renewable energies that significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and the volume of polluting emissions, and the implementation of new solutions such as cogeneration or the use of unavoidable energy.
Fluctuations in the price of fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas, have made the development of new solutions essential. Dalkia is an integrator of energy solutions for the environment by acting on several factors such as the introduction of alternate and renewable energies, optimisation of need management and changes to consumer behaviour. For town councils, these solutions are effectively deployed through community services, not only district heating and cooling networks, but also decentralised energy production and energy management in municipal buildings.
The industrial sector on the other hand has been historically dependent on fossil fuels and is particularly concerned by the question of polluting emissions and now faces increasingly strict legal and environmental constraints. In this field, Dalkia offers high performance technical improvements to give better energy efficiency for the supply of utilities, as well as services to achieve optimised control of installations. Combining these services reduces energy consumption and achieves a two-fold economic and environmental benefit.
So renewable energies are very much at the heart of Dalkia’s efforts, however it does recognise that successfully limiting the environmental impact of the energy sector is about more than simply reducing fossil fuels, rather it is also about implementing a rigorous policy against all many of releases and emissions, including CO2, SOx, NOx, dust and other pollutants.
It is for this reason that Dalkia’s Research and Development Department can today be found applying its skills to boosting efforts to develop and improve technologies that will ultimately assist in reducing the environmental impact of its clients’ installations.
Written by Will Daynes, research by David Brogan