Oil and gas giant BP has recorded a profit of $13.8 billion (£11 billion) across 2023 as its renewable pipeline reaches 58.3GW.
BP’s profit figure is a drastic decrease from the previous year when the firm saw profits of $27.7 billion. Soaring oil and gas costs propelled the profits witnessed by BP across 2022 amid the war in Ukraine as the UK moved to transition away from Russian imported fossil fuels.
The reduction in profits showcases the stabilisation of the energy crisis and is one of the reasons why Shell, another oil and gas giant, saw a fall in year-on-year profits to $28.2 billion across 2023. The UK is now on a trajectory of recovery, as long as the escalation in the Red Sea does not hinder energy prices.
One of the biggest controversies within BP’s 2022 financial results was its intention to slash its 2030 emissions reduction target from 35-40% to 20%-30%, compared with 2019 levels, to focus on new oil and gas fields.
This did not stop the company from pursuing a global portfolio of renewable generation assets. Its results found that the company’s renewable pipeline had grown from the 37.2GW figure recorded in 2022 to 58.3GW in its 2023 results.
The firm’s EV charging sector also grew with a 35% year-on-year increase in the number of chargers available with a 150% rise in energy sales volume, showcasing the growth in the adoption of EVs across 2023 – a year which saw the one-millionth BEV (battery electric vehicle) on UK roads.
It is also worth noting that the Energy Profits Levy – the oil and gas windfall tax announced in May 2022 – had a similar impact on BP’s financial results, much like it did on Shell’s. In total, $720 million of the £1.5 billion paid in UK tax was due to the windfall tax.
BP takes full ownership of Lightsource BP
Perhaps one of BP’s most significant moves in the renewables industry in 2023 was its decision to secure its remaining 50.03% stake in utility-scale solar and battery developer Lightsource BP, as covered in our sister publication, Solar Power Portal.
In an announcement in November 2023, the two parties stated that it was the “right time” for BP to take full ownership of Lightsource BP to further scale up the solar and battery developer. The integration is also hoped to “underpin and de-risk the delivery of BP’s targets for its transition growth engines – in hydrogen, EV charging and biofuels as well as in power trading.”
At the time of reporting, Lightsource BP had a pipeline of 61GW across 19 countries. Regarding operational projects, a year ago (February 2023), the developer confirmed that two new solar projects – totalling 50MWp output – had begun operation.