[TREND 2] The Shift from Traditional to Clean Energy
The most notable transformation of oil majors is their explicit effort to evolve, both in their brand image as well as their product portfolio, from fossil fuel companies to energy providers. In 2020, we saw huge shifts as major oil companies committed to greater investments in a mixed portfolio of fossil fuels and renewables while making public declarations of aggressive objectives to lower their impact on the environment. The divestments from coal and petrochemicals were matched by a huge upturn in “green” energy investments.
The European O&G giants, in particular, have been very vocal about their commitment to “going greener.” Spain’s Repsol was the first to publicly commit to going “NetZero by 2050,” followed by oil giants such as BP, Total, ENI, and Shell.
Asia is following the lead from Europe. In October of this year, Petronas became the first Asian oil company to fully commit to going NetZero by 2050, and PetroChina came just short of the full commitment by promising to “come close to NetZero” in the same timeframe. As countries like China, Japan, and South Korea have all announced these same goals, we expect to see more of the petroleum giants in the AP region follow suit.
In America, petroleum giant ExxonMobil is not declaring to “go green” anytime soon. However, it is making significant advancements in technologies and innovations that will improve its own efficiencies and reduce its carbon footprint. It is also leading the pack on carbon capture and storage. The shift to a “greener” government just might push the U.S. giants to commit further.
One of the biggest unknowns right now is just how fast and how far these companies will go in their efforts to meet their declared ambitions. Nevertheless, the one certainty is that the world is moving toward renewable sources of energy. Acting to reduce carbon emissions is a long-term megatrend that will not disappear anytime soon.
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