Equinor has pledged to expand its renewable energy portfolio tenfold over the next five years as part of a new climate roadmap designed to bring the company in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The Norwegian energy company says that it is aiming to become a major global player in offshore wind and that it is targeting up to 4-6 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2026 – around ten times higher than its current installed renewable energy capacity.
It says that its plan to install 16 GW of renewables capacity by 2035 will depend on the availability of attractive project opportunities.
Equinor says that the climate roadmap will ensure its business model remains competitive and resilient in the climate transition. It plans to reduce the net carbon intensity, from initial production to final consumption, of energy produced by at least 50 per cent by 2050, and to strengthen its industry leading position on carbon efficient production, aiming to reach carbon neutral global operations by 2030.
“Today we are setting new short-, mid- and long-term ambitions to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions and to shape our portfolio in line with the Paris Agreement,” said Eldar Sætre, president and CEO of Equinor. “It is a good business strategy to ensure competitiveness and drive change towards a low carbon future, based on a strong commitment to value creation for our shareholders.
“We are now looking 30 years into the future, and it is not possible to predict an exact shape and pace of the transition. Not for society and not for us. But we know there will have to be significant changes in the energy markets, and our portfolio will change accordingly to remain competitive. We will produce less oil in a low carbon future, but value creation from oil and gas will still be high, and renewables give significant new opportunities to create attractive returns and growth.”
The ambition to reduce net carbon intensity by at least 50 per cent by 2050 takes into account scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, from initial production to final consumption. By 2050 each unit of energy produced will, on average, have less than half of the emissions compared to today, Equinor said.
The ambition is expected to be met primarily through significant growth in renewables and changes in the scale and composition of the oil and gas portfolio. Operational efficiency, CCUS and hydrogen will also be important, and recognised offset mechanisms and natural sinks may be used as a supplement.
“In order to combat climate change, governments, business and society must find new and sustainable solutions together,” added Sætre. “As a pioneer in CCUS, Equinor is engaged in building a European value chain, capturing and storing CO2 from third-party industrial sites.
“This, combined with a strong position within natural gas, makes Equinor prepared for future growth in hydrogen, which offers large scale opportunities for zero emission energy.”