Total has acquired a stake in India’s Adani Green Energy (AGEL), a move that continues to push the French oil major ahead of its European peers when it comes to renewables.

AGEL has 3 gigawatts of operating renewable capacity, another 3 GW under construction and 8.6 GW in development, adding up to 14.6 GW. The company is targeting a total of 25 GW by 2025. It claims to be the world's largest solar developer. In June 2020, it won the world's largest solar tender, an 8 GW auction in India.

Total's new stake in AGEL follows its move in February 2020 to create a 50-50 joint venture with AGEL for solar development via a vehicle made up of 2.1 GW of AGEL assets. That figure was bumped up to 2.3 GW in October as AGEL contributed some additional projects. Total invested $510 million for its share.

“We are delighted to deepen our strategic alliance with Total, a global energy major, and welcome them as a significant shareholder in Adani Green Energy Limited,” said Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, in a statement. “We have a shared vision of developing renewable power at affordable prices to enable a sustainable energy transformation in India. We look forward to working together toward delivering India’s vision for 450 GW renewable energy by 2030.”

Total is aiming for 35 GW of operational renewable energy assets by 2025, up from an earlier target of 25 GW. Beyond 2025, Total hopes to add another 10 GW every year. It is currently sitting at 7 GW of operational assets but has been aggressively acquiring project pipelines including a series of mega-deals in 2020.

Total’s 12 months of low-carbon power

Total has had a huge 12 months in renewable energy acquisitions and pipeline development. Across wind, solar and storage, the firm has tapped 16.8 gigawatts' worth of projects (on a gross basis; 12.6 GW net) in a 12-month period. That’s including its 20 percent stake in AGEL’s projects that are not covered in the pair's existing joint venture.

Total also won an 800 MW solar tender in Qatar. Huge deals in Spain made in February and September gave it access to 2 GW and 3.3 GW, respectively. It has also been successful in French solar tenders and taken a 51 percent stake in the Seagreen offshore wind project, which could reach 1.5 GW in capacity.  

Last week, Total and Hanwha-owned 174 Power revealed a mixed 1.6 GW portfolio of solar and storage projects in the U.S. Hanwha’s 174 Power, named for the amount of power in petawatts that the earth receives from the sun, has 8 GW of solar in development and 10 gigawatt-hours of energy storage.

In Asia, Total has partnered with Australian investor Macquarie on a pipeline of floating offshore wind projects. The pair has access to as much as 2.3 GW of capacity in South Korea, with work on the first 500 MW starting as soon as 2023.

Other European oil giants are pursuing their own renewables targets. 

BP is aiming for 20 GW by 2025 before ramping to 50 GW by 2030. The bulk of the interim target will be met by Lightsource BP, its solar development joint venture. The second tranche of renewables is likely to come from more varied sources including offshore wind, Dev Sanyal, head of the company's gas and low carbon unit, told GTM in an interview last year.

Shell has no specific gigawatt target. Last year it committed to decreasing its capex in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse in oil prices. The share of that capex devoted to new oil and gas drilling projects will also be cut from 50 percent to between 35 and 40 percent by 2025. The company has made offshore wind breakthroughs this year, and in December 2020, it invested another $225 million in its U.S. solar platform Silicon Ranch, enough cash to back 1 gigawatt of development, according to the Nashville-based developer.