BP today announced that it plans to double its investment in alternative and renewable energies to create a new low-carbon power business with the growth potential to deliver revenues of around $6 billion a year within the next decade. BP Alternative Energy will manage an investment programme in solar, wind, hydrogen and combined-cycle-gas-turbine (CCGT) power generation, which could amount to $8 billion over the next ten years.
“We are focusing our investment in alternatives and renewables on power generation because it accounts for over 40 per cent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, the biggest single source. It is also the area where technology can be applied most cost-effectively to reduce emissions." said BP chief executive Lord Browne.
Investment in hydrogen fuels will include the world’s first commercial project – at Peterhead, in Scotland – to turn natural gas into hydrogen by stripping out carbon dioxide and pumping it into depleted oil reservoirs. The hydrogen will be used at a power station in Peterhead to generate 350 megawatts of ‘clean’ electricity, and the carbon dioxide re-injected into the offshore Miller field. BP is looking at a similar sequestration scheme to make hydrogen from low-value coke by-products at a US refinery which would be used to generate 500 megawatts at an adjacent new-build power plant.
The complete press release can be found here.
The most newsworthy part of this announcement is BP's plans for sequestering carbon dioxide as part of two projects. I believe that this is the first time sequestration has been used on non-subsidized commercial projects. Hopefully this will push regulators to look at sequestration as best available commercial technology (BACT) and require it to be used on other projects.