This article looks at the growing trend for large oil and gas groups to diversify into owning alternative energy assets, including notably in the electric vehicle (EV) sector. We have seen recent acquisitions by BP, Shell and Total in the EV charging area, as well as investments by Orsted, Equinor (formerly known as Statoil) and Shell in offshore wind. This trend seems set to continue, with growing pressure on the big oil and gas companies to demonstrate their green credentials, the economic pressure of an uncertain oil price and the steady rise in the number of EVs and their related infrastructure.
From EV charging and batteries to offshore wind and solar PV; some of the world’s oil majors have made renewed efforts to invest in alternative energy assets in 2018. Here, three partners from the law firm DAC Beachcroft share their view on the industry’s evolving business model BP’s acquisition before the summer of Chargemaster – the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging provider – was the latest in a growing and increasingly high-profile list of low-carbon investments made by Big Oil. Oil majors have injected capital into a wide range of renewables assets in recent times – everything from onshore and offshore wind to solar PV and battery storage. Indeed, BP’s own efforts saw it return to the solar sector after six years away, buying a 43% stake in UK developer Lightsource.