Jan 14, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Oil majors deepen push into offshore wind

Illustration of a gas sign where the numbers are replaced with wind turbines.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week brought new signs of multinational oil majors' deepening push into offshore wind.

Driving the news: France's Total is teaming up with Spain-based global power giant Iberdrola to develop what they say will be one of the world's largest offshore wind farms off Denmark's coast.

  • "The 50/50 partnership has been pre-qualified by the Danish Energy Agency to submit a bid for the Thor offshore wind farm in the Danish North Sea," the companies said.
  • The project will have power generating capacity of up to 1 gigawatt and it's slated to come online as soon as 2025, they said this morning.

Driving the news, part 2: New York State officials yesterday announced contracts with Equinor, the Norway-based global oil giant, for a pair of offshore wind projects.

  • The two farms will have a combined capacity of nearly 2.5 gigawatts, Equinor said of the projects — Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1.
  • They come on top of Equinor's planned Empire Wind 1 project off New York. BP is Equinor's strategic partner in the developments.

Yes, but: Renewables and low-carbon energy overall are currently a small part of oil majors' overall capital spending, with fossil fuels remaining their dominant business lines.

The big picture: Via Reuters, "European oil firms such as Equinor and BP are under pressure from activists, banks, investors and some governments to shift away from fossil fuels, and analysts say offshore wind farms are probably the quickest way for them to do so."

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