Power will be the energy of the 21st century. With demand for electricity growing faster than total energy demand, power should account for 40% of end consumption by 2040 if the International Energy Agency (IEA) is right. To meet the demand for power responsibly, our climate strategy includes stepping up our low-carbon electricity activities. In keeping with our integrated business model, we now operate across the value chain, from gas-fired and renewable power generation to marketing to the end customer.
The Rise in Power of Electricity from Renewable Energy
The IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario has renewable energies meeting close to 40% of the upswing in global primary energy demand by 2040. We are ramping up our renewable power — solar, wind, hydro — generation capacity to satisfy the surge in electric power needs responsibly.
Active in solar for 40 years, our expertise qualifies us to operate across the photovoltaic solar value chain, from manufacturing photovoltaic cells to supplying green electricity to our customers. Our activities also span developing and operating solar power plants, installing photovoltaic systems on residential, industrial and commercial rooftops and carports, and storage via our affiliate Saft.
Total Solar gives us the capability to develop utility-scale solar power plants worldwide, as well as wind farms in emerging economies.
Our ambition is to develop a portfolio of renewable power generation assets and create innovative solutions that combine production, storage and optimization.
Favouring Gas in Electricity Generation
Natural gas is the lowest-carbon fossil fuel, emitting only half as much carbon in power generation as coal. Replacing coal with natural gas in power plants would cut global carbon emissions by 5 billion tons per year, or around 10%.
Another advantage of gas-fired power plants is greater more operational flexibility. They can be restarted and ramped up twice as fast as coal-fired plants. Plus, the ability of natural gas to generate power flexibly also makes it a vital partner of renewables, which are intermittent by nature.
For all these reasons, we’ve made gas a cornerstone of our strategy, taking an integrated position across the gas value chain. In 2018, we acquired four combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants in France.