BP Amoco to double investment in renewables

Oil giant gears up for growth spurt, with photovoltaic solar included in the push

Oil giant BP Amoco today announced plans to double its investment in renewable energy to US$500m (euros 524m) over the next three years. Almost all the extra money will go into the company's solar arm BP Solarex, which already has about 20% of the world photovoltaic solar market. BP Solarex's current target to quintuple its turnover to US$1bn (euros 1.05bn) by 2007 remains unaffected by the announcement.

The increase in renewables investment follows embarrassment for BP Amoco at its last annual general meeting in April. Greenpeace led a shareholder resolution calling on the firm to end all plans to develop oil reserves in Alaska's Arctic refuge nature reserve and invest the money in renewables instead. The move failed but 13% of shareholders nevertheless backed it (ENDS Daily 13 April). BP Amoco today denied that its move on renewables had been influenced by Greenpeace.

Other areas of BP Amoco's business will also see considerable increases in spending, particularly oil exploration and production, where spending will focus on deepwater oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico and Angola as well as gas reserves in Algeria, Egypt and off the coast of Trinidad.

Follow Up:
BP Amoco, tel: +44 207 496 4000; BP Amoco press release on spending plans; BP Solarex.

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