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Equinor Accelerates Energy Transition Strategy, Plans To Invest Billions in Renewables

(Credit: Equinor)

During its June capital markets day, Equinor, one of the largest energy companies in the world, discussed its strategy and targets to become a leader in the energy transition to a low-carbon future – with an emphasis on renewables and low-carbon solutions.

Anders Opedal, President and CEO of Equinor, said, “Our strategy is backed up by clear actions to accelerate our transition while growing cash flow and returns. We are optimizing our oil and gas portfolio to deliver even stronger cash flow and returns with reduced emissions from production, and we expect significant profitable growth within renewables and low-carbon solutions. This is a strategy to create value as a leader in the energy transition.”

Key highlights of the transition strategy include:

  • 40% reduction in net carbon intensity by 2035, and aiming for net zero by 2050.
  • Accelerated investments in renewables and low-carbon solutions to more than 50% of gross capex (annual investments) by 2030, including around $23 billion in renewables from 2021 to 2026.
  • Achieving 12-16 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030, 15-30 million tonnes of carbon capture storage per year by 2035, and 3 to 5 major industrial clusters for clean hydrogen projects by 2035.
  • Growing cash flow and returns, expecting a free cash flow of around $35 billion before capital distribution in 2021-2026 and around 12% return on average capital employed in 2021-2030.
  • Increasing the quarterly cash dividend to 18 cents per share and introducing a new share buy-back program.

Equinor’s presentation follows an announcement by the company in April that it will ask shareholders to vote on the plan, becoming one of the first energy companies to do so. Equinor announced late last year a commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, including both emissions from production and final consumption of energy.

The new strategy comes as oil and gas-focused energy companies face increasing pressure from investors, regulators and other stakeholders to take action on climate change, and align their businesses with goals that are consistent with the U.N. Paris Agreement. Last month, in a series of landmark boardroom and courtroom defeats, Exxon, Chevron and Shell were all directed to take more aggressive and decisive action to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

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