bp, Shell bolster their venture capital arms as they seek to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
Achieving net zero emissions of greenhouse gases will require the development and scale of a wide range of transformative technologies and business models.
Unlike traditional venture capital firms, bp serves as both investor and end-user of the technologies in which we invest. This helps us integrate promising startups into the broader innovation engine that powers our businesses.
In the US, the transportation sector generates about 29% of total greenhouse gas emissions – the largest of any single economic sector. Primarily these emissions come from cars, trucks, ships, trains and airplanes. To reach net zero, the US must transform the way we move – and bp ventures is investing in greening the future of mobility.
At bp, we want to make it easier for consumers to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) fairly and affordably. That’s one reason bp ventures invests in FreeWire Technologies, Inc., a California-based manufacturer of mobile EV rapid-charging systems.
FreeWire has accelerated the transition to low carbon mobility and our investment has bolstered the fast-growing EV supply equipment market while helping us gain valuable insights about customer demand.
FreeWire is planning on installing additional units at new sites in California, Washington and Oregon in 2021 and beyond.
We’ve also invested $75 million in Fulcrum BioEnergy, another California-based company at the forefront of decarbonizing transportation. Fulcrum specializes in making low carbon, low-cost transportation fuels from one of our nation’s most abundant resources – household garbage.
In July 2021, Fulcrum announced it finished building the first-ever commercial-scale plant capable of turning household garbage into low-cost, zero-carbon transportation fuels. With construction complete, start-up and commissioning on the plant has commenced and fuel production is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2021.
When complete, the Sierra BioFuels Plant located east of Reno, Nevada, will convert an estimated 175,000 tons of prepared municipal solid waste (MSW) into approximately 11 million gallons of zero-carbon syncrude annually, which will then be upgraded to transportation fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel, renewable diesel and renewable gasoline – Fulcrum Fuel™. This patented fuel is fully certified as a drop-in for use in airplanes, automobiles and trucks.
Other bp investments have promoted digital efficiency and greater sustainability.
In the Houston area, we have invested in Belmont Technology, a startup that developed a cloud-based geoscience platform using artificial intelligence. The Belmont platform analyzes and interprets our subsurface data and then performs rapid simulations, helping us gather better information more quickly.
We have also invested in Xpansiv Limited, the world’s first commodity exchange built for data. As consumers demand more environmentally sustainable products, Xpansiv is pioneering the development of data-driven products, valued according to factors like methane emissions and water utilization. Xpansiv ingests data, sourced from each commodity’s lifecycle, and converts it into Intelligent Commodities™ – digital assets that enable transactions based on comprehensive information.
Our venture companies also include California-based Calysta Inc., and New Jersey–based Solidia Technologies.
Calysta converts natural gas into protein for fish, livestock and pet nutritional products that don’t interfere with the human food chain. The Calysta technology frees up land and resources to help meet growing food demand around the world.
Meanwhile, Solidia has found a remarkable way to limit carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions in cement production by up to 70% while enabling 80% of the water used in production to be recycled. For perspective, concrete and cement are the second most-used products on Earth, behind only water; the concrete industry accounts for 5–7% of global CO₂ emissions; and concrete production uses 3 trillion liters of fresh water each year.
All these investments support our larger strategic ambitions of reimagining energy, reinventing bp and moving toward net zero.