Sustainability Blog

Chevron Investing in Low-carbon Technologies

By Simon Johns - Mar 08, 2022

U.S. energy major Chevron announced last week that the company’s American arm, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., is acquiring Renewable Energy Group for $3.15 billion. The company, based in Ames, Iowa, makes biobased renewable diesel, which ties into Chevron’s aim to invest in low-carbon technologies, as well as grow renewable fuels production capacity to 100,000 barrels per day by 2030. 

Chevron’s increase in investing in low-carbon technologies may be in response to a warning shot last year dealt by shareholders who voted for the company to reduce carbon emissions.

In February, Chevron invested in Carbon Clean, an industrial carbon capture technology developer headquartered in London. Carbon Clean’s unique selling point is its claim to make carbon capture economically viable by making its technology modular. Until the acquisition, the company had spent more than $1.1 billion in carbon capture and sequester projects.

Other recent activities by Chevron U.S.A. include expanding its joint venture with Brightmark to produce and market biomethane from dairy herds across the country. Livestock produces almost 40% of the U.S.’s methane emissions, and most of that comes from cattle.

There have also been investments beyond hydrocarbons, such as in a new-energy start-up called Zap Energy, which is developing modular fusion nuclear reactors. Another, Carbon Engineering, removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to convert into fuel. Chevron also signed an agreement with Cummins Inc. to develop hydrogen and alternative energy sources.  

Chevron set up a venture capital division called Chevron Technology Ventures. It manages funds worth $200 million. With another $100 million contribution to a $1 billion investment consortium that aims to reduce emissions across the oil and gas industry, its investment in greener projects comprised about 1.5% of the company’s capital and exploration budget in 2020.

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