As the world shifts towards a net-zero carbon future, International Oil Companies (IOCs) are faced with the challenge of aligning their operations with global sustainability goals.
The pathway to achieving a net-zero economy requires IOCs to explore new technologies, invest in renewable energy sources and adopt more sustainable practices throughout their operations. By embracing this energy transition, IOCs can contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future for all.
Speaking at the 2023 edition of the African Refiners & Distributors (ARDA) conference, Olagoke Aluko, Executive Vice President-East and Central Africa for TotalEnergies Marketing and Services, gave a presentation on ‘IOCs and Energy Transition: The path to net-zero,’ where he stated that the urgency of global warming necessitates collective action from society as a whole.
TotalEnergies is not persuading anyone of the existence of climate change, as it is a reality that the company is integrating into its mission to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint. The momentum of global warming has been building since the 1800s, and the majority of carbon dioxide emissions stem from human activities linked to energy production – as the energy industry is one of the largest contributors to emissions, energy companies must be involved in finding solutions to this problem, he continued.
While developed countries have flourished without limitations on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are now working towards a net zero carbon future, developing and emerging nations still confront the difficulty of expanding their societies without replicating the same trajectory as developed nations in escalating their emissions. TotalEnergies is thereby committed to providing African societies with the energy required to meet its demand as well as ensuring a move towards achieving net zero.
Aluko stated that TotalEnergies intends to reduce its carbon emissions by taking action on three scopes. The first, reduce emissions generated directly from its operations; the second, reducing emissions generated indirectly from the energy that the company purchases; and the third, reducing the emissions generated indirectly when its customers use their services and products. The company has taken bold strides to reduce its emission in scope one by at least 40%.
Additionally, the pathway to achieving net zero is the acceleration in the development of new technologies in the energy sector, technologies that contribute to reducing emissions and creating efficiency within operating systems.
“Two words to keep in mind – invest and innovate,” stated Aluko, adding, “There needs to be an acceleration in technology to get to net zero. We are investing approximately $1 billion dollars in research and development projects every year and we are investing 50% into renewables.”
TotalEnergies has a strong presence in the market. “We are present in more than 40 countries in Africa, with 4,700 service stations and over 10,000 employees,” stated Aluko. This makes the company’s contribution to reaching Africa’s energy goals one of importance. In addition to this, the company is currently aiming to reduce its emissions in scope one and two by solarizing its production plants. By the end of 2022, the company has solarized up to 2,200 of its service stations. TotalEnergies forecasts a substantial shift towards renewable energy and anticipates a 3.5% annual growth rate. However, the majority of the electricity generated will be consumed by residential and industrial sectors.
TotalEnergies has moved from being an oil and gas company to a ‘broad energy company,’ offering a mix of integrated energy services. “Our vision for 2050 is adapting our production while responding to energy needs of a growing population, in doing so we are developing different energies in an integrated manner,” said Aluko.
The energy transition remains a topic of conversation and the African Energy Chamber (AEC), the voice of the African energy sector, is looking forward to facilitating many more debates around energy transitions within Africa during its annual event: African Energy Week (AEW), Africa’s leading energy investment and networking event – taking place in Cape Town from October 16-20.