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How can Europe meet the climate goals of tomorrow?

By making smart energy choices today.

Europe aims to provide sustainable, affordable and secure energy for its citizens and industries. In Equinor, we agree that energy should be safe, competitive and sustainable. We believe our energy sources and solutions will contribute to the carbon-neutral Europe of the future.

Shortcut to this page: www.equinor.com/eu

Renewables and low emissions

Climate-friendly hydrogen

Carbon capture and storage

The European Green Deal set out by the European Commission will necessitate substantial changes in the Union’s energy supply, allowing the EU to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Europe — an offshore wind champion in the making

Q&A with Pål Eitrheim, executive vice president of New Energy Solutions at Equinor.

Watch the interview with Pål Eitrheim in the video above, and read the full article below.
(The article in Politico is sponsor-generated content produced in cooperation with Politico Studio.)

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Europe’s energy transition?

We see a sea of opportunities.

As we develop into a broad energy company, offshore wind farms are one of our solutions for the European energy transition. 

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“The European Union is making great strides to reduce its emissions. But there are still significant challenges ahead. To succeed, we need every tool that is available to us.”

Al Cook, Executive Vice President in Equinor

A broad energy company.

With ambitions.

We are an international energy company with a Norwegian heritage and 21,000 colleagues in more than 30 countries. We energise the lives of 170 million people every day and are a major and reliable supplier of energy to Europe. 

We have announced our ambition to become a net-zero energy company by 2050. The ambition includes emissions from production and final consumption of energy, setting a clear strategic direction and demonstrating our continued commitment to long-term value creation supporting the Paris Agreement. 

In Equinor, we believe our energy sources and solutions can contribute to a carbon-neutral Europe. Discover our offshore wind, natural gas, hydrogen, and CCS.

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Our presence in Europe

Equinor is present in the following European countries. Our office in Brussels represents our company’s interests in the EU. 

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Science says the pace of change is too slow.

We agree.

In Equinor, we believe the transition to a more sustainable energy system must accelerate.  

A sustainable development path to a well below the two-degree target does not allow for further delays in policy, industry and consumer actions to reduce emissions. The world’s energy systems must be transformed to drive decarbonisation. 

We’re investing in renewable energy, nearly climate-neutral hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and the lowest production emissions from oil and gas. By 2050, we aim to be a net-zero energy company, removing as much carbon as our products emit.

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What role for natural gas in a climate-neutral Europe?

Replacing coal and supporting renewables.

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Equinor produces gas equivalent to the gas consumption of more than 50 million European households.

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During energy production, gas emits only half of the CO2 of coal. Carbon capture and storage can reduce emissions still further. 

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The total length of the network of gas transport pipelines on the NCS is equivalent to the distance from Oslo to Beijing, 11,880 kilometres.

When transitioning away from solid fossil fuels, we need to ensure the security and continuity of energy supplies in Europe. Readily available natural gas is the answer: it can reduce emissions significantly without hampering the EU’s competitiveness.

Natural gas can reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 60% compared with coal, while reducing dust and other pollutants such as NOx and SOx by up to 99% compared with coal.

What’s more, natural gas can also advance the adoption of renewables, by being a back-up and balancing source for the development of renewable energy and the electricity system. It enables additional wind and solar generation, substitutes existing inefficient generation and can replace coal in the fuel structure of many member states.

In the long term, while unabated natural gas will have to be phased out, modern reforming technologies combined with carbon removal solutions will make it possible for natural gas to be part of a sustainable European hydrogen market.

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We’re harnessing the winds of change today.

To power the low-carbon world of tomorrow.

Wind power is a key enabler in the world’s energy transition. Our ambition is to become a global offshore wind major, drawing on our offshore experience to drive the industry forward. We already supply Europe with enough electricity from renewable offshore wind to power the equivalent of one million homes*—and we are continuing to expand.

In Germany, we are partners in the Arkona wind farm operated by E.ON that opened in the Baltic Sea in 2019. The farm has a total of 60 turbines that provide a total capacity of 385 megawatts. Arkona can save up to 1.2 million tons of CO₂ annually compared to conventionally generated electricity.

For Poland, our ambition is to be a preferred partner contributing to the Polish energy transition and the Norwegian-Polish energy cooperation. Equinor has interests in three Baltyk offshore wind development projects (MFW Baltyk III, MFW Baltyk II and MFW Baltyk I). With interests in all three projects, we can build scale and value in what we see as an important energy region.

Hydrogen is the key to decarbonising the energy system. It is versatile and can be transported in the existing gas infrastructure. Many people consider it to be the ultimate fuel of the future.

Equinor is involved in numerous ground-breaking hydrogen projects across Europe. We are pursuing the production of hydrogen from decarbonised natural gas (“blue hydrogen”) through methane reforming with subsequent storage of CO2 under the seabed (CCOS, Carbon Capture and Offshore Storage).

Methane reforming is a tried and tested standard process that has been used successfully in industry for many years and using CCS can be considered nearly climate-neutral. With this technology, hydrogen can be reliably produced in large quantities at comparatively low costs by 2030. In this way, customers in the electricity, heating and transport sectors can be given targeted support on their way to reducing emissions. It is the decisive transition step towards a future sustainable global hydrogen economy.

Equinor, Open Grid Europe (OGE) and ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe (tkSE) have been working on a suitable concept for the generation and transport of blue hydrogen to the largest German steelworks in Duisburg since 2019. Blue hydrogen can be produced in large quantities comparatively quickly, which means that the expected hydrogen demand of the industry can be met promptly.

What role for blue hydrogen?

Steinar Eikaas, Head of Low Carbon Solutions in Equinor, talks about the role of blue hydrogen in Germany’s future energy mix. He believes it will be challenging for green hydrogen to kick-start the hydrogen economy alone. 

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“H2morrow steel” currently plans to transport natural gas from Norway via the existing transport network to an autothermal reforming plant (ATR) on the German or Dutch North Sea coast.

In this way, hydrogen can quickly and efficiently make a significant contribution to a sustainable energy future. 

Some say that we should avoid blue hydrogen and allow only green hydrogen. But that would make the challenge of decarbonising Europe far harder. It is not just that blue hydrogen provides 95% of the benefit of green at less than half the cost. It is that blue hydrogen allows us to act faster and to prepare the infrastructure which can then be used for green hydrogen. The cost of green hydrogen will fall over time and as it becomes more affordable, the pipelines and consumers will be ready to take it.

CCS is one of the measures that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The International Energy Agency states that we will need to store billions of tonnes of CO2 every year if we are to reduce global warming.

One way to make sure that carbon dioxide doesn’t reach the earth’s atmosphere is to capture and store it beneath the ground. This technology—called CCS or CCUS—will be essential to achieving the world’s shared climate goals—and Equinor is already a world leader in this field.

As an operator we have captured and stored more than 23 million tonnes of CO2 to date. Now we’re seeking to develop new business models to make CCS commercially viable and decarbonise our oil and gas production. In this way, we can produce blue hydrogen that eliminates 95% of emissions when used instead of natural gas.

Projects like H2morrow in Germany and Zero Carbon Humber in the UK are already moving forward, showing that companies are ready to invest if governments support them.