As part of its strategy to become an integrated energy company, UK oil & gas supermajor BP has built up a massive renewable project pipeline of 24.9GW by the end of the second quarter.
Of that, 3.7GW were in projects that already have taken a financial investment decision (FID), up from 2.8GW a year earlier. Another 21.2GW came from new projects that were added to the pipeline within the past year, up from 13.8GW at the end of the first quarter.
While the pipeline is huge, BP only had 1.6GW in already installed renewables capacity, up from 1.1GW at the end of the second quarter 2020.
“We are a year into executing BP's strategy to become an integrated energy company and are making good progress - delivering another quarter of strong performance while investing for the future in a disciplined way,” chief executive Bernard Looney said.
Most of the new projects in the overall development pipeline were made in the Americas, where 15.3GW were added, including through the purchase of 9GW in solar development projects in the US from independent developer 7X Energy.
Another 5.1GW in new projects were added in Europe, where the oil major in June had agreed to join Norwegian utility Statkraft and Aker Offshore Wind to bid to develop offshore wind in Norway in the Southern North Sea 2 license area.
In July, BP submitted a joint bid with German utility EnBW for 2.9GW in generating capacity in the ScotWind leasing round for offshore wind acreage (1.45GW BP net).
A further 0.8GW in new projects are being developed in Asia-Pacific.
Most of the new projects, or 83%, are in solar, with the remaining 17% in offshore wind.
It was unclear, though, whether the renewables additions already contributed significantly to BP results in the second quarter as the company bundles gas and low carbon into one business unit.
Underlying profit before interest and tax (Ebit) in gas & low carbon fell to $1.24bn in the quarter, from $2.27bn in the second quarter of 2020.
BP as a whole posted underlying profits of $2.8bn, compared to a loss of $6.68bn a year earlier, when the Covid-19 pandemic severely had depressed oil & gas demand.
Looney took charge of BP last year and set it on course to become an "integrated energy company", with a pledge to boost annual spending on low-carbon energy tenfold to $5bn by 2030.
The company intends to build significant scale in renewables and bio-energy, as well as seeking early positions in carbon capture and hydrogen, which the company believes could be a material part of business in the years after 2030. BP targets to produce 1GW of blue hydrogen (from natural gas linked to CCS) by 2030.
BP is aiming to develop 50GW of renewable energy generating capacity by 2030.
Rob Watts from Recharge sister publication Upstream contributed to this article