Total present across the entire low-carbon electricity value chain

10/18/2018
Electricité bas carbone cover Electricité bas carbone cover

With digitalization and an evolution in mobility, as well as increased access to electricity among populations, the 21st century is truly a century of electricity. The demand for electricity is increasing faster than the global demand in energy. While our group has placed climate at the heart of its strategy in order to limit climate change below the 2°C (35.6° F) threshold by 2100, we want to offer our clients a mix of increasingly low-carbon energy sources. Keeping true to our integrated model, we aim to produce and supply low-carbon electricity, which means electricity from natural gas - the least polluting fossil fuel - and renewable energies.

From the production to the supply of low-carbon electricity

10 GW
Total’s electricity production capacity (gas and renewable energy stations) by 2023.

Total has a long history in the power business: electricity has always been one of the main outputs from our natural gas production and we have been investing in solar energy for 40 years. While needs are increasing nowadays, we want to offer our individual and business customers the best-priced deals. This goal is possible given our position on the electricity value chain.

  • Production: whether from gas or renewable energies such as solar, wind or hydraulic, our group has significantly increased its production capacity in 2017, especially through acquisitions or dedicated subsidiaries. Our goal is to have an electricity production capacity of 10 GW by 2023.
  • Storage: to compensate for the intermittent nature of renewable energies and limit access costs to the network for our clients, the storage of electricity is a priority. We work in the area of electricity storage through our subsidiary Saft and invest in this essential link in the renewable energy chain;
  • Supply: as a supplier of natural gas to professionals for decades, we have gradually increased our electricity offers in several European countries. We have become a premium provider of electricity to consumers in France and Belgium since our acquisition of Lampiris in 2016, the launch of Total Spring in 2017 and the purchase of Direct Energie in 2018. Our goal is to supply 7 million consumers in these two countries from 2022. 
  • Additional services: repairs, recharging of electric vehicles, intelligent meters, installation of solar panels on rooftops: our subsidiaries offer an increasing range of additional services linked to electricity supply.

Aggregation: a new knowhow at Total in the electricity value chain

Aggregation consists in uniting several decentralized sources of electricity within the same portfolio (electricity from solar power, wind turbines, etc.) and managing this electricity so it is added to the network in the right quantity at the right time.

Solutions to promote electric mobility

The transport sector is currently undergoing big changes. Faced with climatic challenges and the evolution of usage, electric mobility seems like an ideal solution. It involves light vehicles – the number of electric vehicles could reach 380 million worldwide by 2040, compared to 2 million today – as well as fleets of company vehicles.

Conscious of these challenges, we are offering our clients a range of products and services:

  • within service stations we have developed a dense network of electric recharge points (1,000 recharge points every 150 kilometers (93.2 miles) in Western Europe);
  • outside of the network of service stations: we are forming partnerships to put in place public recharge points throughout Europe; 
  • at home: our subsidiaries that provide electricity also offer recharge services to consumers; 
  • in the area of storage our subsidiary Saft has linked with Solvay, Manz and Siemens to launch an ambitious R&D program to develop the battery of the future. This program opens the way to a new generation of lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion). It targets all market sectors: electromobility (electric cars and buses, the rail and maritime sectors as well as aeronautics), energy storage (SSE) and specialized industries.

Favouring gas in electricity generation

Half of the natural gas produced in the world is used to produce electricity. 

Natural gas is the least polluting fossil fuel: it emits twice less CO2 as coal when used to generate electricity. Another advantage is the operational flexibility that gas stations provide - the speed of their scalability and startup - it perfectly makes up for the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources.

To respond responsibly to the increased demand in electricity while fighting climate change, we have made natural gas a key element of our strategy. It could represent 60% of the mix of hydrocarbon production in Total in 20 years.

Present across the entire electricity value chain, we have multiple activities: from gas production to the supply of natural gas and electricity, in addition to gas-fueled plants producing electricity as well as mobility solutions such as natural gas for vehicles or the liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker. We are also the world’s second largest provider of liquefied natural gas with a 10% market share. 

In order to open new markets for liquefied natural gas, we are ready to invest in electrical installations supplied by regasification infrastructures - “gas-to-power” projects.

The rise in power of electricity from renewable energy

According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy should meet 40% of the increase in world demand of primary energy by 2040. Apart from our investment in gas, we are developing our ability to produce electricity from renewable sources – solar, wind and hydraulic – so as to responsibly meet the increase in electricity needs.

Our expertise means we are present on the entire value chain of solar energy: from the production of panels to the development and sale of green electricity to our clients. Our activities also include the development and running of solar stations, the installation of solar panels on rooftops or on residential, industrial and commercial car parks, and also storage through our subsidiary Saft. We also help our clients reduce the cost of energy with management and control systems. 

Our goal is to develop a portfolio of assets that produce electricity using renewable energy sources, and contribute to the development of innovating offers that include production, storage and optimization. 

Electricity storage: a fundamental challenge

The optimization of storage is an essential part in developing renewable energy, which is by nature intermittent. Total is developing high-tech batteries through its subsidiary Saft to meet these challenges. Their unique selling point is the ability to smooth out production while limiting losses of electricity linked to transport and energy distribution.