France’s Total boosts spending on renewable energy and electricity by Reuters

© Reuters. France’s Total boosts spending on renewable energy and electricity

PARIS / LONDON (Reuters) – France’s Total (PA ???? said on Wednesday it will increase its annual investment in renewable energy and electricity by 50 percent in conjunction with efforts to reduce its dependence on oil, emulating its European competitors in a bid to become a major producer of low-carbon electricity.

Faced with bleak outlooks for oil demand, Total is accelerating revenue diversification efforts, focusing in particular on the electricity supply and expansion of renewable energy activities.

The French group, which reduced its annual spending to $ 12 billion from $ 15 billion amid the fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic, said that growth will also come from gas production over the coming years.

“Diversifying activities … enhances resilience and offsets the impact of oil price fluctuations,” Chairman and CEO Patrick Boyan said in an online presentation.

Total aims to become one of the five largest producers of electricity from renewable sources in the world, and that transformation matches the plans of competitors such as Royal Dutch Shell and BP, who are working to reduce emissions and promote clean energy projects.

Total, which has so far kept its dividends while cutting them off from some competitors, has said it will grow its renewable energy and electricity investments to $ 3 billion by 2030 from $ 2 billion currently.

The company’s total spending budget will not change to remain at less than $ 12 billion in 2021 – a year shrouded in dense fog, according to Poyan – and then increase to between $ 13 and 16 billion annually between 2022 and 2025, where a recovery is expected to reach $ 60 a barrel, he said.

The group aims to reach total renewable energy production capacity to 35 gigawatts by 2025, up from a previous target of 25 gigawatts, and said that 70 percent of that is already calculated and includes projects under implementation.

(Prepared by Ahmed Elhami for the Arabic Bulletin)

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