Our plan for energy transition and net zero by 2050
Even though the world is in the midst of an energy crisis, in which energy scarcity has led to record high prices and concerns about stable supplies, we know that the climate challenge is not going away.
Within a few years, the world must have made progress to limit global warming and its severe consequences for people, nature and society.
Equinor has taken a clear stand on this: Our ambition is to continue supplying society with energy with lower emissions over time and reach net zero by 2050. But many people ask us: How – exactly – are we going to get there? There is a concrete plan behind the ambitions and the company's stated strategy. In March 2022, we launched our plan for the energy transition.
Our Energy Transition Plan focuses on the current decade, because significant change must take place by 2030 in order for the world to be able to limit climate change.
In short, the plan outlines the measures that will allow us to deliver on the net-zero ambition.
The path that leads us there runs through three strategically important areas for Equinor: oil and gas, renewables and low-carbon solutions. These areas are interconnected and must work together for us to reach our goal. But even though the end goal is the same, we see slightly different challenges within the three areas.
In the plan, we present the current status, measures we will implement in the short term (2022-2025), and measures we are working to put in place in the medium term (up to 2030/2035) for all three areas.
Area 1: Oil and gas
In the area of oil and gas, our main focus is on optimising our resources. We are cutting emissions in our operations and identifying new procedures that enable us to continue supplying energy that the world needs with thesmallest possible footprint.
The ambition is that by 2030 – eight years from now – we will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. Thousands of measures for more efficient energy use in everything from production to the operation of buildings contribute to this.
But the most effective step we’re taking on the reduction side is to replace gas-powered turbines on several platforms with renewable electric power from land and wind. This will allow us to reduce our emissions by a total of 5 million tonnes of CO₂ per year – corresponding to almost 10% of Norway's annual emissions.
Area 2: Renewables
For renewables, it’s all about increasing speed and size. The world needs renewable energy, and we are investing heavily in offshore wind to meet the demand. Over the next four years, we will invest NOK 200 billion (about USD 18.35 billion)in renewables.
But the projects in this field take time to mature, and we are dependent on the authorities and other players moving in the same direction in order to find new areas to develop.
One place where all the pieces are falling into place is in the UK. We already have the world’s first floating offshore wind farm in operation here, Hywind Scotland. We are also completing what will be the world's largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank. As early as next year, we expect the first power deliveries from Dogger Bank, and this offshore wind farm will produce enough energy to supply more than 5 million British homes with electricity from 2026.
We have also come a long way on the east coast of the US. Here, the offshore wind projects Beacon Wind and Empire Wind are constantly taking new steps towards start-up. These projects will collectively deliver enough renewable energy to power 2 million American homes.
Area 3: Low carbon solutions
In the low-carbon solutions area, there’s a race underway to enter the future quickly.
By “low-carbon solutions”, we mean new technologies and business areas for producing lower emissions by replacing the use of carbon or capturing and removing greenhouse gases before they reach the atmosphere.
There are already many exciting things happening in this field, but the technologies the world demands are not yet fully mature.
Even though carbon capture and storage (CCS) has existed as a technology for many decades, it takes time to develop the value chains. That’s why, despite existing technology, there is not yet a single plant in the world where carbon capture and storage has been implemented on a full scale. However, that is about to change.
As an extension of this, Equinor has entered into an agreement with the German company WintershallDea to develop a value chain linking CO₂ emitters on the continent with storage facilities on the Norwegian continental shelf. Northern Lights has now also entered into the world's first commercial agreement on the transport and storage of CO₂ across national borders with the chemical industry company Yara.
Within low-carbon solutions, hydrogen is also an important area for us. We are working with authorities and other US and UK actors to establish the use of hydrogen as a substitute for coal, gas or oil in energy-intensive industries.
A race against time
Significant changes must take place already by 2030. Therefore, our plan particularly emphasises measures within this decade.
What we know for sure is that the transformation of the world's energy systems is not a job that can be carried out by one actor alone. Countries, authorities, businesses and society must work together, and with joint efforts, we can make the path to 2050 easier for all of us.
Much has happened in the first 50 years of Equinor, but much more must happen in the run-up to 2050 if we are to achieve the ambition of a zero-emissions society.
We got here together – let's make sure we get there together.
Curious about the plan we have laid out? Download below.