UK energy giant BP has pledged to go carbon-neutral by 2050 and is planning to boost its annual low carbon investment!
BP chief executive Bernard Looney has announced the company’s ambitious targets and highlighted their plan to increase renewable power development from 2.5GW to 50GW by 2030.
This reinvention of the company comes following pressures within the oil and gas industry for companies to cut emissions and drive clean energy development.
In the attempt to meet these goals BP have put ambition into action and made it’s first moved into offshore wind, purchasing a 50% stake in two US projects from Norway’s Equinor.
Last month BP announced it would partner with other companies to further its clean energy ambitions, acquiring talent and technology while building joint ventures. The strategic investment into Equinor’s Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects is part of BP’s move to add £5Billion into low-carbon investments annually, an increase of 10 fold.
Offshore wind remains an emerging industry in the US and while it still has a long way to go, it has also reached a critical turning point and there is now a clear path forward for both investors and regulators, and growth in the industry is likely to accelerate in the years to come.
This merger is evidence that BP plans to make good on promises to integrate renewable energy into its business model. With continued pressure from investors, environmentalists and the public other traditional fossil fuel companies may also be encouraged to make changes to their business models to reduce emissions.
"bp's entrance into the offshore wind market is yet another example of a traditional energy major embracing the significant potential of this clean electricity source to boost the company's bottom line, while delivering clean, affordable power to American consumers and launching a brand new energy industry in the U.S," says Laura Morton, senior director of offshore wind policy and regulatory affairs for the American Wind Energy Association.
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The bp-Equinor partnership is part of a broader trend of legacy energy companies moving into offshore wind ahead of a likely growth spurt, according to Walter Musial, a principal engineer who leads offshore wind research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.