Total named Stéphane Michel as its new president for gas, renewables & power as the French oil & gas giant embarks on one of the most ambitious green power expansion programmes of any global energy player.

Michel took up the post this month, moving from his current role as SVP Middle East & North Africa, Exploration & Production. He replaces previous renewables chief Philippe Sauquet, who is retiring.

Michel, who joined Total in 2005 and was before that an energy advisor to France’s finance minister, will steer a Total renewable energy operation that is among the fastest-growing in the world, with a remit from group CEO Patrick Pouyanné to join the global top five.

The French group wants to build a 100GW gross renewables base by 2030, a headline figure that would put it in the same league as power industry giants such as Iberdrola and Enel. It is planning to change its name to TotalEnergies to underline its ambitions to become a broad-based energy player

So far its expansion has included big moves into utility-scale solar in Spain, the US and India, and fixed-bottom offshore wind in the UK. Total has also established early major positions in the fast-emerging floating wind power market.

Along with peers such as BP and Shell, Total is one of a clutch of European oil and gas giants adding large-scale renewables to their portfolios, in contrast to far less aggressive moves by US supermajors.

Pouyanné said: “The Gas, Renewables & Power segment has a key role to play in the growth, value creation and transformation of Total into a broad energy company.”