What Total’s energy storage play means for supermajors
French oil company Total is the first oil “supermajor” entering new areas of business including solar plus storage and distributed energy generation, Lux Research says, and the other global oil supermajors — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total — should follow its lead.
Total recently bought energy storage company Saft for $1 billion, allowing it to compete with Tesla-SolarCity.
But according to Lux, as transportation and the grid increasingly march toward more electrification, it’s not just about the battery anymore: to make the most of the emerging opportunities, solar or wind is also key, as is being active in connective software and hardware.
“Worthwhile battery companies continue to gain value and build momentum with each passing day, as do other opportunities toward a distributed generation future,” said Cosmin Laslau, Lux Research senior analyst and lead author of the report ‘Superpower Darwinism: What Big Oil Can and Cannot Do About Total’s Billion-Dollar Battery Move.’ “Indeed, the recent Tesla-SolarCity merger highlights the increasingly high-stakes race to integrate the future pieces of power, which are underpinned by distributed solar and advanced energy storage.”
The report is part of the Lux Research Energy Storage Intelligence, the Distributed Generation Intelligence, and the Exploration and Production Intelligence services.
Report: Six policies to improve corporate access to distributed energy resources and off-site energy
For many companies, the ability to control energy costs and use more renewable energy is a key factor when deciding where to locate or expand operations. According to the report, “Opportunities to Increase Corporate Access to Advanced Energy: A National Brief,” prepared for Advanced Energy Economy Institute by Meister Consultants Group, if half of electricity demand from commercial and industrial customers nationally were met by renewable energy, it would drive development of nearly 450 GW of renewable energy—more than double current capacity nationwide, and enough to power over 100 million houses.
However in many states, companies are restricted in their options to make these purchases. While most states around the country do have policies in place that support on-site or distributed advanced energy, not all of them are structured to enable the participation of larger corporate users.
The AEE report outlines six policies for advanced energy, including allowing companies to access energy from distributed energy resources and to purchase electricity from offsite advanced energy projects.
Policies to enable companies to purchase electricity from large-scale offsite advanced energy projects:
- Utility renewable energy tariffs, through which companies can purchase renewable energy competitively sourced by their utility
- “Back-to-back” utility power purchase agreements, in which the utility acts as an intermediary between a customer and renewable energy developer
- Direct access tariffs, which allow certain customers in traditionally regulated markets to choose their electricity source. These policies open up purchasing options generally not available to companies located in vertically integrated states.
Policies allowing companies to access energy from distributed energy resources:
- Raise system size limits for programs that credit distributed generation, such as net metering,
- Allow third-party ownership of on-site generation systems
- Allow virtual or aggregated metering to enable companies to benefit from distributed energy even when their needs are not met by a single onsite system at a single building.
The report also identifies 11 states with large corporate demand and strong renewable resources where the policies could expand options for corporate consumers: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. The report is available here.
EPS is also participating in the power-intensive Terna project in Italy, which will increase the security of the electrical systems in the country’s major islands by installing 40 MW of energy storage.
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