Generating low carbon energy | About BP | BP Global

Generating low carbon energy

The world’s population is set to continue to grow – growth that will be reliant upon the provision of energy from both traditional sources and increasingly from new, alternative energies and technologies
Energy grasses growing in Florida, USA Energy grasses growing in Florida, USA

Delivering better biofuels

We believe that using more biofuels - fuels made from renewable biomass - can help the world to reduce global greenhouse gas levels significantly and with immediate impact. 

We're not alone - the EU has committed to reducing its overall emissions by 2020, aiming for a 20% reduction of 1990's levels. One of the ways it hopes to achieve this is by increasing the share of renewable fuels in energy use, including biofuels, to 20% by 2020. The US plans to increase the amount of biofuels it uses from 9 billion US gallons in 2008 to 36 billion by 2022.

If biofuels are done well, they can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and stimulate agricultural progress. If they're done less well they can have negative impacts on natural habitats and make little or no tangible difference to climate change. We're determined to do biofuels exceptionally well - using sustainable feedstocks to minimize pressures on food supplies and developing advanced technologies with the potential to make good biofuels even better. 

Building our biofuels capacity isn't a step into the unknown, because we're already a market leader. In 2008 we blended and marketed over 1 billion gallons of ethanol in the US and our current share of the market worldwide is around 10%. 

Since 2006, we've already committed more than $1.5 billion to build existing operations and research and development capability. Working in partnership with other businesses and academic bodies helps us to develop the best technologies, feedstocks and processes required to produce advanced biofuels. 

Wind power 

If wind provided around a tenth of the world's power, it could eliminate the production of around one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Modern wind turbines work just like traditional windmills. Wind turbines usually have three blades, which spin in the wind. The blades are connected to a rotor driving an electricity generator creating clean electricity for the grid. 

Large wind farms in the US - with around 300 turbines - can each produce enough zero-carbon electricity to meet the needs of 120,000 average households annually. Wind power is clean, safe and increasingly affordable. Supported by government policies, it has grown rapidly in many countries 

BP Wind Energy is a principal owner and operator of wind power facilities. As the principal owner and operator of wind power facilities – with interests in 16 wind farms over nine US states – we have a gross generating capacity of nearly 2600 MW. This is enough to provide electricity for a city the size of Washington DC. Currently we have two wind farms under construction and these will add a further 375 MW to our gross generating capacity.

We continue to work with leading turbine manufacturers and academic institutions to develop wind technology and to maximise our competitiveness.