Strengthening our positions in New Energies
New Energies is developing renewables that will complement hydrocarbons so as to meet the increasing global demand for energy.
In meeting this objective, the Group has two main focuses:
- Solar energy, which benefits from unlimited energetic resources and is expected to play a key role by 2030, in particular in certain geographical zones where the Group has a significant presence
- the transformation of biomass, which aims to develop new bio-sourced product solutions for the Group’s downstream markets, Marketing & Services and Refining & Chemicals.
An active watch is kept on other technologies, such as marine energy.
Total is developing upstream operations through industrial production and downstream marketing activities in the photovoltaic sector based on crystalline silicon technology. The Group is also pursuing R&D in this field through several partnerships, as well as in the concentrated solar power field.
SunPower : Total now holds 66% of SunPower, a U.S. company based in San Jose, California, and listed on NASDAQ (NASDAQ: SPWR), following a friendly takeover bid in June 2011 and a capital increase in January 2012 in conjunction with SunPower’s integration of Tenesol, Total’s long-established solar subsidiary present mainly in Europe and Africa.
SunPower is an integrated player that designs, manufactures and supplies the highest-efficiency solar panels in the market. It is active throughout the solar chain, from cell production based on crystalline silicon to the design and construction of turnkey large power plants, passing by the commercialization of solar solutions for residential and commercial markets.
Upstream, SunPower manufactures all of its cells in Asia (Philippines, Malaysia) and has a total production capacity of 1,200 MW/y. The company is continuing to adjust its production capacity while maintaining its technological leadership. The cells are assembled into modules, or solar panels, in plants located in Asia, North America,
Europe and South Africa.
Downstream, SunPower is present in most major geographic markets (United States, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa), with operations ranging from residential roof tiles to large solar power plants.
Elsewhere, the Group is continuing its projects to display solar application solutions as part of decentralized rural electrification projects in a number of countries, including in South Africa via Kwazulu Energy Services Company (KES), in which Total holds a 35% stake.
Concentrated solar power
Total won in 2010 the call for tenders for the construction and 25-year operation of a 109 MW concentrated solar power plant in Abu Dhabi. The Shams project (20%) is being carried out in partnership with Masdar through the Abu Dhabi Future Energy
Company (ADFEC). Construction work started in July 2010 and the plant started up in early 2013. The production will be sold to Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (ADWEC).
Biotechnologies and the conversion of biomass
Total is exploring a number of avenues for developing biomass transformation, which vary depending on the resource used, markets targeted (fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, etc.) and the nature of the conversion processes.
New Energies has chosen to target one out of the two primary conversion processes: biochemicals. Since 2010, Total has been pursuing its strategic biotechnologies partnership with Amyris Inc., an American company (NASDAQ: AMRS) specializing in this domain. The Group holds an 18.5% stake in the company as of December 31, 2012, and entered into a collaboration agreement regarding research, development, production and commercialization of new bio-based molecules that will be used in the upstream markets of oil and green chemicals. A common R&D team will be implemented.
Amyris owns a cutting-edge industrial synthetic biological platform designed to create and optimize micro-organisms that can convert sugars into molecules of interest through fermentation. Amyris also owns a research laboratory and pilot units in California as well as in Brazil. Amyris started its industrial production facility in Paraiso, Brazil, at the beginning of 2013.
In addition, the Group continues to develop a network of R&D partnerships in technology segments that are complementary with Amyris’ platform (deconstruction of lignocelluloses, new biosynthesis processes, tools for metabolism engineering and processes linked to biochemicals routes), including with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) (United States), Novogy (United States), the University of Wageningen (Holland) and the Toulouse White Biotechnology consortium (TWB) (France).
The Group is also assessing the potential of phototrophic processes and bio-engineering of microalgae. It entered into a partnership with Cellectis S.A. to conduct exploratory research on this field. The Group also takes part in the AlgaePark consortium (Netherland).
Total continued its Clean Energy Partnership in Germany, centered on hydrogen distribution. An experimental service station, located near Total Deutschland’s new head office in Berlin, was completed in 2012. A new hydrogen station should be opened in 2013 near Berlin’s new airport. The “H2 Mobility” study, looking into the potential deployment of a hydrogen fuel distribution network in Germany by 2015-2020, was completed. Total has now entered negotiations between industrial partners with a view to implementing the business plan based on the study.
The number of prototype electric vehicle fueling stations (fast charge) is also increasing. Today, Total has around twenty charging stations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France. In 2012, Total launched a program of six experimental pilot schemes of multi-energy and energy services offers designed to encourage reductions in consumption, to develop hybrid fuel/photovoltaic technical solutions and to facilitate access to energy in rural Africa.
In wind power, Total owns a 12 MW wind farm in Mardyck (near Dunkirk, France), which was commissioned in 2003.
In marine energy, Total holds a 26.6% share in Scotrenewables Tidal Power, located in the Orkney Islands in Scotland. Tests are being conducted on a 250 kW prototype. A 2 MW commercial
model is being developed.