Producing and supplying energy responsibly is an essential contribution to the sustainable development of the planet. Reinventing energy means promoting renewable, decarbonized energies, but also improving our energy efficiency and designing solutions for storing any residual carbon.
Accelerating the deployment of renewable, decarbonized energy
R&D is a key to long-term transformation, since it is through research that we can accelerate the deployment of low-carbon energy. Renewables, hybrid electrical systems for mobility and industrial sites, biofuels, bioproducts: as it works to give the company's ambition the best advantages, R&D is the spearhead that will enable us to develop carbon-neutral tools, industrial processes and products.
We are investing today in the strategic areas that will contribute to the carbon neutrality of society tomorrow. What are some examples? We are focusing our research on electricity storage with our subsidiary Saft to give a boost to electric mobility by increasing vehicle autonomy, and in our R&D activities we are exploring the possibilities of using stored carbon to produce hydrogen without using fossil fuels.
In short, we are mobilizing our R&D to reinvent energy, to serve the energy transition.
Our answer: We devote almost half of our R&D budget to low-carbon energies to reduce our emissions and those of our customers and achieve, together with society as a whole, our ambition of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Reducing emissions from the production and use of fossil fuels
Reducing our own emissions by transforming our energy consumption and management habits is the first step towards carbon neutrality. Globally, this means focusing on our operational excellence, an increasingly strong climate strategy, and better energy use.
We have set ourselves a goal of reducing our emissions by 1% per year at our operated industrial sites. And because our refining and chemical facilities account for 66% of our energy consumption, we have launched a major investment program to improve their energy performance.
At our operated oil and gas facilities, we aim to reduce direct emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2015 levels by improving energy efficiency, eliminating routine flaring, electrifying our processes and reducing methane emissions.
And to go even further, we are gradually equipping our service stations and industrial and commercial sites with solar panels: to date, we have solarized about 2,700 of our sites around the world, including our research center in Solaize, France, and our lubricants plant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Our answer: We are accelerating site decarbonization projects with a demanding goal for 2025: to meet all the electricity needs of our European sites thanks to our solar farms in Spain and thus avoid the emission of 2 million tonnes of carbon per year.
Storing residual carbon
Reinventing energy also means storing residual carbon, because none of the main so-called “2050 neutral” scenarios consider the complete disappearance of hydrocarbons by 2050. They foresee that the share of oil will be divided by three and that its emissions will be compensated.
This is why we are investing in storage solutions, whether they be carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities with underground sequestration or natural carbon sinks, such as forests or wetland ecosystems, which we seek to preserve, preferably, or, if they have been destroyed or degraded, to regenerate.
The commercial development of carbon stored by our CCS facilities, either directly or after conversion, is also a promising avenue and a major R&D challenge for designing sustainable fuels for mobility, for example.
Our answer: We allocate an R&D budget of $200 million per year to finance, develop and manage carbon sequestration operations via carbon capture and storage projects or carbon sinks.