Exxon Plans to Zero Out Emissions from Operations by 2050

At-a-Glance: 

Exxon Mobil Corp. announced an “ambition” to eliminate a portion of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the oil giant’s first long-term pledge to curb carbon output. To learn more read, Exxon Plans to Zero Out Emissions from Operations by 2050.

Key Takeaways:

  • Over the next two years, Exxon will develop roadmaps for its crude refineries, chemical plants and other facilities to eliminate so-called Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
  • The plan excludes carbon spewed when customers use Exxon products such as gasoline and jet fuel, or Scope 3 emissions that comprise the bulk of oil-industry pollution.
  • Although Exxon’s pledge falls short of those made by European peers like Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc, it’s a major step for the largest Western oil explorer. 

Path to 100% Perspective:

Large energy companies have seen the value and opportunity in developing their own decarbonization strategies. They are joining the race to renewables using their name recognition, influence in the energy sector and budgets to spur more competition to the benefit of those striving for a renewable energy future.

Exxon and other mass producers of carbon emissions have an important role to play in decarbonization. Making infrastructure and technology investments now, while keeping future flexibility in mind, will help reduce greenhouse emissions in the long run.

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Exxon, Chevron look to make renewable fuels without costly refinery upgrades

At-a-Glance:

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp along with Chevron Corp is seeking to bulk up in the burgeoning renewable fuels space by finding ways to make such products at existing facilities, sources familiar with the efforts said. The two largest U.S. oil companies want to produce sustainable fuels without spending billions of dollars that some refineries are spending to reconfigure operations to make such products. Renewable fuels account for 5% of U.S. fuel consumption, but are poised to grow as various sectors adapt to cut overall carbon emissions to combat global climate change. To learn more, read, “Exxon, Chevron look to make renewable fuels without costly refinery upgrades.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Oil companies are looking into how to process bio-based feedstocks like vegetable oils and partially processed biofuels with petroleum distillates to make renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable gasoline, without meaningfully increasing capital spending.
  • A task force was created at Exxon’s request within international standards and testing organization ASTM International to determine the capability of refiners to co-process up to 50% of certain types of bio-feedstocks to produce SAF, according to the sources.
  • Exxon says it will repurpose its existing refinery units among other strategies to produce biofuels. It aims at more than 40,000 barrels per day of low-emission fuels at a competitive cost by 2025.
  • Chevron is looking into how to run those feedstocks through their fluid catalytic crackers (FCC), gasoline-producing units that are generally the largest component of refining facilities.
  • The company is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a path to produce fuel that would qualify for emissions credits.
  • Congress is considering legislation for tax credits that would further spur refiners to process sustainable aviation fuel commercially.

Path to 100% Perspective:

As coal, diesel and legacy natural gas plants are retired to achieve ambitious decarbonization goals, the need for new dispatchable capacity is necessary for reliability and resiliency in future power systems. Oil companies have seen the critical need to pivot to remain viable and develop their own decarbonization strategies. Power systems of the future will require both short-duration and long-duration energy storage options. Oil companies can help generate future fuels or renewable fuels, such as hydrogen, ammonia and carbon neutral methanol.

The New Green Energy Giants Challenging Exxon and BP

At-a-Glance

A decade ago, NextEra, Iberdrola and Enel were sleepy regional utilities with little name recognition. Now they are fast-growing giants with market values rivaling the likes of oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP PLC, thanks to their early all-in bets on wind and solar farms. Their early lead in the global transition away from oil has put these companies on track to become the major energy companies of the coming decades—the “green energy majors.” But they now face the threat of increased competition as some of the oil titans that have traditionally dominated the energy industry diversify into wind and solar power. To learn more, read “The New Green Energy Giants Challenging Exxon and BP.” Reading this article could require a subscription.

Key Takeaways

  • NextEra, Enel SpA and Iberdrola SA are Wall Street darlings, after Spain’s Iberdrola and Italy’s Enel became global builders of green energy projects, while NextEra became America’s largest generator of wind and solar power.
  • Enel and Iberdrola have outlined plans to substantially expand their portfolios of renewable-energy projects over the next decade with about $170 billion in collective investments.
  • Florida-based NextEra grew into America’s largest renewable energy producer by keeping debt levels low, capitalizing on federal tax subsidies available to help finance wind and solar projects around the country and reinvesting its profits to expand further. NextEra expects to have invested $60 billion in renewable energy projects between 2019 and 2022.
  • Denmark’s Ørsted A/S, a company formerly known as DONG Energy that focused on oil and gas, has transitioned into a leading player in offshore wind projects.

Path to 100% Perspective

As NextEra became more valuable than Exxon in 2020, it became increasingly clear that the status quo in energy is now in the rearview mirror and the path to 100% is nearly paved. Oil companies are not holding on to the past or unrealistic expectations for the future of energy. Instead, they are joining the race to renewables using their name recognition, influence in the energy sector and budgets to spur more competition to the benefit of those striving for a renewable energy future.

 

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NextEra Now More Valuable Than Exxon as Clean Power Eclipses Oil

At-a-Glance:

NextEra Energy Inc., the world’s biggest provider of wind and solar energy, is now more valuable than oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp., once the largest public company on Earth. NextEra ended Wednesday, October 7, with a market value of $145 billion, topping Exxon’s $142 billion. The oil major’s U.S. rival, Chevron Corp., also surpassed it in value for the first time. To learn more, read “NextEra Now More Valuable Than Exxon as Clean Power Eclipses Oil.” (Reading this article requires a subscription.)

Key Takeaways:

  • NextEra has emerged as the world’s most valuable utility, largely by betting big on renewables, especially wind.
  • NextEra had about 18 gigawatts of wind and solar farms at the end of last year, enough to power 13.5 million homes. And it’s expanding significantly, with contracts to add another 12 gigawatts of renewables. Its shares have surged more than 20% this year.
  • At the same time, Exxon’s shares have tumbled more than 50% as the pandemic quashed global demand for fuels. The company’s second-quarter loss was its worst of the modern era and, in August, Exxon was ejected from the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • The company was worth $525 billion in 2007, more than three times its current value.

Path to 100% Perspective:

The global economic shift away from fossil fuels continues to become more evident as more public commitments are being announced and financial milestones such as this one are making history. However, continued efforts to reach renewable energy goals are still being monitored worldwide as organizations and governments are piecing together innovative solutions and strategic partnerships designed to pave a path to a renewable energy future.

 

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