Oil & Gas Majors in Renewable Energy: The Hunt for the Best Returns

by Tom Heggarty

Driven by favorable politics and economics, the global renewable energy market is growing at an exponential rate. In 2016, net capacity installations of wind and solar PV overtook conventional power generation capacity for the first time, and in 2017, almost 100 GWdc of solar PV was installed worldwide. The rapid growth is due in part to a more favorable political environment, but primarily to lower technology costs. Renewables represent a sizable investment opportunity, but the space is extremely competitive. Two areas where the majors will be positioned to succeed are in offshore wind and ultra-large tenders for solar PV.

Select Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects and the Underdevelopment of Majors’ Upstream Oil & Gas Projects

This report forms part of a broader series assessing the opportunities, challenges and risks for the oil and gas majors in the renewable energy sector.

Over the next few weeks, we will be publishing two follow-up reports exploring the issues highlighted here in more detail. These two reports will assess further assess the specific opportunities and challenges for oil and gas companies in the renewable energy sector, as well as analyzing the potential cash flows that can be achieved from the development of different types of renewable energy projects in different markets.

To access these reports, or to hear more about our Power and Renewables research offerings, please contact power@woodmac.com.


Tom Heggarty Senior Analyst, Solar

Tom is a Senior Analyst for GTM Research covering global downstream PV markets. Prior to joining GTM in 2017, he worked for Wood Mackenzie for over 5 years; initially as an analyst producing research on electricity markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and later as a Research Manager for Wood Mackenzie’s Energy Markets research product. In 2011, Tom graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master’s degree in Mathematics. He also spent a year studying at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

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