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Alternative energy

We have been investing in renewables for many years – and our focus today is on biofuels, biopower, wind energy and solar energy
Alternative energy
Alternative energy text

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.


As part of our approach to building our alternative energy business, we aim to grow our existing businesses and to develop new businesses and partnerships to deliver competitive value in the fastest-growing energy sector.


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.


Lightsource BP is a 50:50 joint venture between Lightsource and BP. 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.


Lightsource BP

Lightsource BP is a global market leader in the development, acquisition and long-term management of large-scale solar projects and smart energy solutions


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


Ethanol produced from sugar cane in Brazil has life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions around 70% lower than conventional transport fuels.   


BP Bunge Bioenergia

In December 2019 BP and Bunge completed the formation of BP Bunge Bioenergia - a 50:50 joint venture that creates a leading bioenergy company in one of the world’s largest fast-growing markets for biofuels. BP has combined its Brazilian biofuels and biopower businesses with that of Bunge  - a leader in agriculture, food and ingredients - to create a world-scale, highly-efficient producer of sugarcane ethanol in Brazil. BP’s interest in the new venture grows its existing biofuels business by more than 50%.


BP Bunge Bioenergia has 11 biofuels sites in Brazil. With 32 million metric tonnes of combined crushing capacity per year, the joint venture has the flexibility to produce a mix of ethanol and sugar. BP and Bunge’s assets are largely complementary, with sites in five Brazilian states including three in the key region of São Paulo.  The combined business is ranked the second largest player in the sugar cane ethanol biofuel industry in Brazil by effective crushing capacity.


BP Bunge Bioenergia creates biopower from bagasse, the fibre that remains after crushing sugar cane stalks. This is enough renewable energy to power all of the JV sites, with the remainder being exported to the national grid in Brazil. The JV is capable of exporting 1,200 gigawatt hours of electricity a year.


Biopower 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


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, which can be transported through existing fuel pipelines and infrastructure. Butamax® has upgraded its ethanol facility in Kansas to produce bio-isobutanol.



Wind energy

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


At our Titan 1 wind energy site in South Dakota, we’ve partnered with Tesla to test how effectively wind energy can be stored.


In 2018 and 2019 we divested our wind energy operations in Texas, as part of a broader restructuring programme designed to optimize our US wind portfolio for long-term growth.