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Advancing energy – news roundup

Release date: 16 October 2019

Welcome to our regular update on how BP is helping to make energy cleaner and better. This month, we look at four steps to decarbonizing gas, eight solar projects set to light up the US, and the many ways BP is mitigating methane
1. New CEO to lead BP through energy transition
BP's Bernard Looney, chief executive, Upstream, photographed at BP St James Square, London, January 2019.

Bernard Looney is to succeed CEO Bob Dudley, who will step down in February 2020 after nearly a decade at the top.


Among his many achievements, Dudley reset BP’s strategy for the energy transition. 


Last year, he introduced the carbon-cutting Reduce Improve Create framework that is reducing emissions in our operations, improving products to help customers reduce their own emissions, and creating low carbon businesses.


“I look forward to…building on the strong foundation that Bob has built as we meet society’s demand for cleaner, better energy.” 


Bernard Looney


As the current CEO of BP’s Upstream business, Looney has driven sustainable emissions reductions of almost 3 million tonnes CO2 equivalent in the past two years. He’s also encouraged BP to lead the industry on methane detection methods. 

2. Eight solar projects set to light up the US
Energy illustrated – electric cars

World-leading solar developer Lightsource BP is set to develop more low carbon energy and create jobs with eight new projects across two deals in the US. 


Deal one:


A suite of seven solar projects in Pennsylvania, Kansas, California and New Mexico, generating 125 megawatts of power:

  • Creating 450 local jobs in construction, operations, maintenance and asset management.
  • Powering the equivalent of more than 19,000 homes.
  • Avoiding carbon emissions, equivalent to taking more than 28,000 traditional fuel-burning cars off the road each year.


Deal two:


Construction of a 240-megawatt solar facility – one of the largest yet built in Colorado:

  • Investing $250 million in a facility in Pueblo.
  • Boosting the local economy with the creation of around 300 jobs in construction, operations, maintenance and asset management. 
  • Producing zero carbon power by the end of 2021.
3. Gas with renewables vital to net zero energy system
BP's Gordon Birrell

The danger of marginalizing gas’s vital role in a low carbon future was the subject of BP CEO Bob Dudley’s big speech at Energy Intelligence’s annual conference in London.


The event is a global gathering of senior industry figures and policymakers. 


On gas’s benefits, Dudley said:


  • Gas is the cleanest hydrocarbon, making it an ideal partner for renewables, providing back-up to solar when the sun doesn’t shine and wind energy on windless days.
  • It’s abundant, affordable, easily transported and energy-rich, able to deliver huge quantities of power or heat instantaneously.
  • It’s flexible, for cars, trucks and ships, heating homes and fuelling stoves.
  • And, it’s an efficient energy store, in a way that batteries can’t replicate at the moment. 


What else?


Dudley also made the point that gas will need to be decarbonized – and can be, setting out a four-step approach – the first two for the energy industry, and two others for governments:

  • Step 1: Demonstrate that carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) can decarbonize gas through creating projects at scale.
  • Step 2: Produce gas in a cleaner way by cutting down on methane leaks and flaring.
  • Step 3: Implement meaningful carbon pricing – the most effective, powerful tool there is for decarbonizing energy.
  • Step 4: Get the infrastructure and industrial processes ready for hydrogen.
4. Mitigating methane through measurement 
'The world needs more energy' chart

Drones fitted with NASA tech are part of a wave of advanced technology zooming into operation at all BP’s new major oil and gas projects. And, some existing assets, such as the giant Khazzan gas field in Oman, have already been refitted with the technology too. 


The high-tech kit is part of an industry-first BP programme to crack down on methane emissions.


Why managing methane matters:


Methane, the main component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas if it escapes into the atmosphere.


Our target:


In an industry first last year, BP set itself a goal to limit operational methane intensity from its Upstream operations to 0.2% out to 2025 – and is on track in meet it. 

5. Tech to reduce building carbon emissions up to 30% 
Speakers at BP's powering the charge conference

BP Ventures is investing in Grid Edge, whose technology allows users to predict, control and optimize a building’s energy profile.


The move supports BP Alternative Energy’s wider strategy in low carbon power, storage and digital energy. 


Why it matters:


Grid Edge’s technology can enable customers to lower carbon emissions by 10-15% typically, and by as much as 30%.


How it works:


The company’s cloud-based software anticipates a building’s energy demand, allowing building managers to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions, while maintaining comfort for users.


  •  This allows managers of commercial building, such as shopping malls, airports and offices, to adapt energy use and take advantage of periods of high renewable power generation. 
6. Three-question quiz 
Speakers at BP's powering the charge conference

With the future of energy under intense scrutiny, where does the energy world go to find the facts?


One impartial, free-to-access source of data has been informing public debate for some 68 years. BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy draws on huge datasets and the big brains of our number-crunching economics team. 


We’ve looked at the latest publication to get answers to three of the world’s pressing energy questions:

  1. Why are carbon emissions rising?
  2. What’s the global impact of the US production boom?
  3. Is our electricity getting greener?

What’s next?

We’ll be back, when we’ll update you on:


  • The latest from our #NotBusinessAsUsual campaign.
  • The energy leaders of tomorrow and how they are advancing a low carbon future.


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