- French-headquartered Total wants to be “no more an oil and gas company but an energy company.”
- Five ways to save energy and weatherproof during cold (or warm) weather.
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Total’s new energy goal
French energy company Total aims to have 100 gigawatts (GW) of gross wind and solar energy generation capacity by 2030, making it a frontrunner among oil giants shifting into renewables.
In comparison, Shell hasn’t set a target, as it says it’s focusing on green power sales, and BP’s target is 50 GW by 2030. Italy-based Enel leads, as it has a 145 GW target and says it wants to be a “renewables supermajor.”
Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne said today that “in 2030, [Total] will have invested in 100 gigawatts of gross capacities; this is the objective and it will be spread in … 30 countries around the world.”
The company is building on its pledge of developing 35 GW by 2025, which it announced in September 2020. Total has already secured a pipeline of capacity needed to achieve that goal, according to Recharge.
Last week, Total was “among winners in Britain’s first major auction of offshore wind farm leases in more than a decade,” Reuters reported.
Pouyanne told a French business magazine in a recent interview that ‘for a company like Total to shift 15% of its portfolio to electricity, or nearly 100GW, by 2030, we will have to finance more than $60 billion worth of projects over a period of ten years.’
Pouyanne said to financial analysts last week:
We want to anchor this transformation in our identity. We’re more than serious [that] we want to establish TotalEnergies in a new category… no more an oil and gas company but an energy company.
How to make your house warmer
To state the obvious, a large portion of the US is in the grips of a major cold snap, and emotions are running high in the US about the Texas power outages and the cause (and no, it’s not because of solar and wind turbines). So while it doesn’t solve immediate problems, in the longer term, Georgia Power released five useful tips for how to save household energy in cold weather. This will keep your house warmer (or cooler in the summer) and also reduce your energy bill.
(And yes, these steps work. When Hurricane Irma hit our area during a hot summer and we lost power for three days, our house stayed at 82F. We have insulation and sealed windows and doors, as well as plantation shutters. Our neighbor had leaky louvered 1950s windows and no shutters. Their house was a sweltering 94F.)
- Use the sun. If it’s sunny during the day, open your blinds and curtains to help warm the house with the sun. Close them at night to keep the cold out. (In the summer, it’s the opposite.)
- Change your filters. It’s an easy thing to forget, especially now when time seems to be moving strangely during the pandemic, but changing your HVAC filters makes a huge difference to efficiency and cost. Heating and cooling accounts for as much as 50% of a home’s winter energy usage. Change the filters according to your unit’s instructions. Dirty filters make your unit work harder and less efficiently.
- Smart thermostat. If you can, install, or get a professional to install, a smart thermostat. They’re not overly pricey (you’ll make your money back in no time), and that way, you can automatically adjust your house temperature remotely and keep track of your usage. This can save up to $100 annually, if not more. Examples include the Google Nest and the ecobee3 lite.
- Seal the doors and windows. A lot of energy escapes through poorly sealed windows and doors. Replace cracked or peeling caulk or weather stripping around doors and windows to save up to 10% on energy use.
- Insulation. Ensure that your attic and walls are properly insulated; a lot of energy escapes through the roof without it.
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