Total to increase investments in renewable energy production

(Reuters) – France’s Total TOTF.PA on Wednesday said it would hike its annual investments in renewable energy and electricity by 50% as it cuts its reliance on oil and aims to become a major low-carbon power producer.

Faced with gloomy long-term prospects for oil demand, Total has been accelerating a push into alternative sources of revenue, with a particular focus on providing electricity and expanding its renewable energy business.

The French oil and gas company, which has slashed some spending as it grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, said it would grow investments in renewables and electricity to $3 billion a year by 2030 from $2 billion now.

It added in a statement that its sales of oil products would shrink by 30% over the next 10 years, and will represent a third of its revenue by that stage, while 15% will come from electricity, 50% from gases and another 5% from biofuels.

“Diversifying activities… increases resilience and offsets oil price volatility,” Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said in a webcast presentation, as the group presented targets at its 2020 investor day.

Total said last week it aimed to become one of the top five renewable power producers, a field where it will have to catch up with the likes of Spain’s Iberdrola IBE.MC and compete with rivals such as Shell RDSa.L and BP BP.L.

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