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Adapted from Rystad Energy; Chart: Axios Visuals

European oil companies, led by Equinor and Royal Dutch Shell, are investing the most in solar and wind projects, according to new data from consultancy Rystad Energy.

Why it matters: Scrutinizing the actual size of renewable investments by big oil companies reveals the degree to which they’re serious about evolving into broader energy players as the world seeks to tackle climate change and shift to cleaner energy types.

Driving the news:

  • Equinor, which is making huge investments in offshore wind, makes up the lion’s share of the investments over the next five years ($10 billion out of $18 billion).
  • Shell ramps up its investments in the latter half of this decade.
  • BP, which has been an early mover in this space, has far fewer specific investments in the pipeline compared to its counterparts.
  • American companies’ absence in the chart reflects the fact that they invest next to nothing in wind and solar.

How it works: Rystad’s analysis considers solar and wind investments announced before June 1, and those that can be “pinpointed to specific projects,” according to a statement accompanying the research. The firm didn’t include funds dedicated to renewable-energy targets, for example, due to the uncertainty of them playing out.

What they’re saying: “Recent suggestions of ‘resilient green strategies’ or ‘business as usual’ simply do not carry much weight, with the exception of Equinor,” says Rystad Energy’s Product Manager for Renewables Gero Farruggio. “Not until later in the decade do we see an increase in renewable spending from other companies.”

The bottom line: The world’s biggest oil and gas companies are expected to invest more than $18 billion in solar and wind over the next five years, but that number pales in comparison to the $166 billion they are planning to spend on new oil and gas projects, Rystad explains.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 11, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Voters and natural gas: It's complicated

Data: Brunswick Group; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Voters support natural gas production but also believe the industry must operate more cleanly, a new Brunswick Group poll shows.

Driving the news: The survey shows more support for gas than other fossil fuels, but it's much less popular than renewables.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Democrats tie climate to wider agenda

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate's top Democrat, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, is throwing his weight behind an economic message that ties climate to goals around racial justice, income inequality, labor rights and a lot more.

Why it matters: The broad resolution — which includes calls for investments in low-carbon energy and infrastructure — previews Democrats' political posture if they regain the majority and have a chance to legislate.

Colin Powell dies from COVID complications at 84

Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts

Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, died of complications from COVID-19, his family announced Monday. He was 84.

Driving the news: The Powell family said in a statement that he was fully vaccinated. "We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment."