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Solar energy in Equinor

The sun is an invaluable source of energy for the future — and the forecast looks bright for solar power. After dramatic reductions in cost, solar is now one of the forms of renewable energy with the greatest growth potential.

Solar energy is an almost limitless source of energy with tremendous potential. Assuming that the global energy mix develops in a sustainable direction, over 20 percent of all electricity will come from solar in 2050, according to Bloomberg NEF’s New Energy Outlook (NEO) 2019.

Improved technology and lower costs have turned solar into an increasingly attractive power source competing with traditional sources of energy in relevant markets.

Continuing our decades of energy innovation, Equinor is investing in solar projects as well as innovative solar technology companies to show how solar power can provide scalable and profitable growth opportunities.

Offshore wind power in Equinor

The future looks bright for our solar power business

The global solar business has grown by approximately 50% per year over the last 10 years and is anticipated to be a major source of renewable power with continued high growth, particularly in emerging markets. Thanks to improvements in technological efficiency, innovation, scale effects and more professional value chains, solar energy is fast becoming a low-cost source of power.

The price of solar energy has halved in the last three years, and the IEA believes it will halve again in the next three years. Solar energy today accounts for around one percent of the world’s energy mix.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that by 2040 around 34% of electricity will come from intermittent renewables, of which solar power will account for a third.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity has grown approximately 50% per year globally over the last 15 years, with 300 GW installed capacity at the end of 2016.

Currently, it takes 200,000 solar panels and an area equivalent to 100 football fields to meet the energy needs of 80,000 households.

How does solar power work?

  • Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight with photovoltaic cells
  • They generate direct current (DC) energy and then convert it to usable alternating current (AC) energy with the help of inverter technology
  • Within each solar cell is a thin semiconductor wafer made from two layers of silicon
  • When light energy from the sun strikes a photovoltaic solar cell, it energizes the cell and causes electrons to ‘come loose’ from atoms within the semiconductor wafer
  • The loose electrons are set into motion by the electric field surrounding the wafer, and this motion creates an electrical current

Our solar portfolio

Equinor is in the process of building a profitable solar portfolio in selected markets.

Brazil

Equinor’s first step into solar energy was the 162 MW Apodi Solar plant in Brazil. Equinor has a 43.5 % share in Apodi along with operator Scatec. The plant started production in 2018.

In summer 2022, early phase construction works started in the 531 MW Mendubim solar project, realized in partnership with Scatec and Hydro Rein. Equinor has 33.3% in the project. Financial close of the project is expected later this year

Equinor in Brazil

Argentina

Equinor has a 50% interest in the 117 MW Guañizuil II A solar project in Argentina. The plant is operated by Scatec and started production in July 2021.

Equinor in Argentina

Poland

In 2021, Equinor acquired Polish solar developer Wento and its 1.6 GW pipeline of solar projects across Poland. The first solar plant Stępień was ready in October 2022, and two more are under construction.

Equinor in Poland

Ownership positions

Equinor holds a 100% ownership share in Wento, a leading Polish solar developer.
Equinor holds a 13.1% ownership share in Scatec, an integrated independent renewable power producer.