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Renewable energy

BP has been in the renewable energy business for more than 20 years. We remain one of the largest operators among our peers and we’re expanding in areas where we see opportunities for growth
Q. Why is innovation important to creating low carbon businesses?

A. “Renewable energy is growing partly because technology and innovation are making it more efficient and affordable. We see this in solar energy where costs have reduced by over 80% in the past decade and in wind energy where turbine technology has dramatically improved capacity. This is underpinned by robust operating performance, leveraging digital and human capabilities. We are also developing digital platforms which identify ways to generate power more efficiently and how that power can be monitored, stored and traded. And we see opportunities to create innovative lower carbon energy offers by partnering gas with renewables, using gas to complement the intermittency of renewables.”


Dev Sanyal, chief executive, alternative energy and executive vice president, regions, BP

Dev Sanyal, chief executive, alternative energy and executive vice president, regions, BP

Renewables are the fastest-growing energy source in the world today and we estimate that they could provide at least 15% of the global energy mix by 2040.

Solar energy

Solar could generate 12% of total global power by 2040, in a scenario based on recent trends. That could grow to 21% in a scenario consistent with the Paris climate goals.

Partnering with BP has afforded us the ability to deliver real growth momentum for solar. Working together we are able to create real value and advance low carbon across energy markets that we are both active in.Nick Boyle,group chief executive officer, Lightsource BP
We have a 43% share in Lightsource BP and plan to invest $200 million over a three-year period. Lightsource BP aims to play a vital role in shaping the future of global energy delivery by developing substantial solar capacity around the world, and we are working with Lightsource BP to expand its global presence.
Advancing solar


Lightsource BP has doubled the number of countries where it has a presence since December 2017.


Agreed to bring 25MW of locally generated solar power to western US, through new collaborations in California and New Mexico over 20+ year terms.


Completed the UK’s biggest-ever unsubsidized solar power deal to supply AB InBev, the Budweiser brewer, with 100MW of solar power at its UK operations in South Wales and Lancashire.


Awarded the project to provide 105MW of solar power to Snowy Hydro, the country’s fourth-largest national energy retailer, through a 15-year power purchase agreement. 

5 new countries in 2018


Announced plans to develop solar and smart energy storage solutions for Brazil’s domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. 


Extended operations into the Italian and Iberian renewable energy sectors.


Formed a joint venture with Hassan Allam Utilities to develop and operate utility scale solar projects in Egypt.


Established EverSource Capital with Everstone to manage the Green Growth Equity Fund aiming to raise up to $700 million of investment in low carbon energy infrastructure projects across India. 

As at 31 December 2018


We believe that biofuels offer one of the best large-scale solutions to reduce emissions in the transportation system. 

We produce ethanol from sugar cane in Brazil, which has life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions around 70% lower than conventional transport fuels. Our three sites produced 765 million litres of ethanol equivalent in 2018. 

Brazil is one of the world’s largest markets for ethanol fuel. In order to better connect our ethanol production with the country’s main fuels markets, we established a joint venture in 2018 with Copersucar – one of the world’s leading ethanol and sugar traders. This includes operating a major ethanol storage terminal in Brazil’s main fuels distribution hub.

Our Tropical and Ituiutaba biofuels sites are certified to Bonsucro, an independent standard for sustainable sugar cane production. We are working towards certification for Itumbiara in 2019. 


Renewable products

Butamax, our 50/50 joint venture with DuPont, has developed technology that converts sugars from corn into bio-isobutanol – an energy-rich bio product. Bio-isobutanol has a wide variety of applications. For example, it can be used in the production of paints, coatings and lubricant components. It can also be blended with gasoline at higher concentrations than ethanol. Butamax has upgraded its ethanol facility in Kansas to produce bio-isobutanol.


We create biopower from bagasse, the fibre that remains after crushing sugar cane stalks, and export around 70% to Brazil’s local electricity grid. In 2018 we generated 892 GWh – enough to supply power to 1.25 million people in Brazil. 

This is a low carbon power source, with part of the CO2 emitted from burning bagasse offset by the CO2 absorbed by sugar cane during its growth. 

Wind energy

BP has significant interests in onshore wind energy in the US. We operate 10 sites in seven states and hold an interest in another facility in Hawaii. Together they have a net generating capacity of just over 1,000MW.

We’ve partnered with Tesla to test how effectively wind energy can be stored at our Titan 1 wind energy site in South Dakota. The electricity captured is then available for the site to use whenever we need it – even when the wind isn’t blowing. The project will help us learn more about energy storage applications that could be useful across our entire portfolio.

In 2018 we divested three wind energy operations in Texas, as part of a broader restructuring programme designed to optimize our US wind portfolio for long-term growth.