British oil giant BP has confirmed it is interested in acquiring more firms who are into green energy. The company has also promised to fix carbon emission targets for its current operations.
Bob Dudley, BP’s chief executive believes hydrocarbons will remain at the forefront of its operations. He reiterated that the reason to invest in green energy should not be a race to dominate the renewable energy market but to lower the emission of green house gases. Irrespective of the growth rate of clean and renewable energy, the world’s dependency on oil will continue for years to come.
BP in it’s latest report recorded increased profits of about 140% in 2017 which amounts to 6.3 USD.
According to Dudley, the company had its most productive year with regards exploration in 2017, the last time the company recorded such progress was in 2004. BP is planning on commencing 6 new oil and gas related projects in 2018, an increase from five that was planned initially. This is all part of a holistic plan to begin transition into the next decade on the back of steady growth.
A large majority of the company’s plan is directed towards clean and renewable energy. Clean and renewable energy will account for about 3.3% of the company’s capital expenditure. The company’s target will be made known in within the next two months.
BP has also acquired a large stake in the biggest solar development company in Europe and they are looking to invest in more solar companies. This marks a return to solar six years after it left the sector.
BP isn’t the only oil company expanding its portfolio. In the last quarter of 2017 Shell purchased a Dutch car-charging network and went into partnership with one of the largest suppliers of energy in Britain, first utility and Ionity.
One of the most revolutionary innovations of 2017 was the development of the first floating windfarm in the world. This project was carried out by a state-owned oil company in Norway, Statoil. In another light, France recently acquired a 23% share in Eren for 212 million pounds.
This is not the first-time big oil is trying to shift into green energy. In the early part of the 21st century, international oil companies looked to be drifting away from crude oil because of external pressure from investors.
BP was not left out as they also tried to reapply itself during the same period, even pledging their initials will stand for Beyond Petroleum in the nearest future. The chairman of BP, Sir John Browne once told the world, that they shouldn’t be perceived as an oil company. However, after the financial crisis, BP and shell halted investments in alternative energy.
In late 2016, major oil companies began crawling back in the renewable energy market and started watching the rise of electric vehicles.
Valentia Kretzschmar, head of research at Wood Mackenzie stressed that even though there has been a recent buzz, investments were minimal when compared to what these big oil companies spend on their core business.
Shell had to come out recently and defend its outlay (1 billion USD – 2 billion USD) on clean energy. They acknowledge is was modest but not in anyway meagre.
In the end the most important thing is a reduction in the level of carbon emission and not the amount of money invested in alternative energy. BP also shares the same sentiments.
Climate change policies, pressure from investors, and attitude of consumers are some of the factors pushing the transformation in big oil. But at the end of the day it is the economics involved in electric cars and renewable energy that will play a major role.
A lot of the big firms began pivoting to renewable energy due to pressure from investors but now the market is driving the change into diversification.
That said, the return on investments for renewable energy is a lot lower than that of oil and gas. The head of low carbon for Statoil, Irene Rummelhoff confirmed that returns were minimal but always fixed, so expanding investments into renewable energy made a whole lot of sense by minimizing the risk.
She went on further to say that risk profile in renewable energy is different and this itself is an advantage.
However, the change is progressing at a very slow rate. Large oil companies account for less that a percent of wind and solar capacity worldwide.
That said, a lot of observers feel that big oil companies are serious about transitioning from petroleum for environmental reason.
Kretzschmar feels it is a lot different now, as the rise of electric cars, renewable and other clean technologies is beginning to threaten the oil and gas venture. As wasn’t the case earlier.
去年最引人注目的能源创新之一 - 世界上第一个浮动风力发电场的部署 - 不是由可再生能源开发商部署的，而是由挪威国有的挪威国家石油公司部署的。
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