Norway's Equinor Targets Net Zero by 2050 Increasing Renewables Focus
Norway’s Equinor today became the latest among the large energy companies to announce its plan to become a net zero company by 2050. The ambitious plan includes emissions from production and final consumption of energy.
Equinor’s recently appointed chief executive officer and president, Anders Opedal, mapped out the plans, saying, “Equinor is committed to being a leader in the energy transition. It is a sound business strategy to ensure long-term competitiveness during a period of profound changes in the energy systems as society moves towards net zero. Over the coming months, we will update our strategy to continue to create value for our shareholders and to realize this ambition.”
Earlier this year, Equinor announced its plans to achieve carbon-neutral global operations by 2030 and to reduce absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Norway to near zero by 2050. At the same time, Equinor outlined a value-driven strategy for significant growth within renewables, as well as a new net carbon intensity ambition.
Equinor expects to deliver an average annual oil and gas production growth of around three percent through 2026. The net-zero ambition the company believes will strengthen future competitiveness and value creation at the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Equinor’s plans for production, development, and exploration at the NCS remain firm, while the company also is preparing for an expected gradual decline in global demand for oil and gas expected to start by 2030.
To develop Equinor as a broad energy company, renewables will be a significant growth area. Equinor has previously set ambitions for profitable growth within renewables and expects a production capacity of 4-6 Gigawatts (GW) by 2026 and 12-16 GW by 2035. Equinor now plans to expand its acquisition of wind acreage, to accelerate profitable growth and will continue to leverage its leading position in offshore wind. Equinor will establish renewables as a separate reporting segment from the first quarter of 2021.
To achieve net-zero emissions requires a well-functioning market for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and natural sinks, as well as the development of competitive technologies for hydrogen, said Equinor. Building on its capabilities from oil and gas, Equinor says it is well-positioned to provide low-carbon technologies and establish zero-emission value chains. Equinor goal is to drive the development of these technologies through projects such as Northern Lights, which aims to store CO2 from industrial sites across Europe. Equinor also assumes that an increasing share of oil and gas will be used for petrochemicals towards 2050.