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Time is right to ‘accelerate’ renewables investment, says Total president

Image: Bloomberg.

Image: Bloomberg.

Total is planning to ramp up the amount it invests in renewables, concluding that the time is right to 'accelerate' its move into the space.

Speaking at this month’s BNEF Future of Energy Summit Philippe Sauquet, president for gas and power at the French energy giant, said it had become clear that investing in renewables was “very logical” for Total and, having been active in the sector for a number of years, now was the right time to “speed up” its renewables strategy.

Sauquet gave no specific indication as to the direction of this investment, but did go on to mention battery storage as being a “big part” of the future in business models targeting commercial and industrial customers.

Total’s moves into various facets of the renewables industry have taken place over the last few years, mainly through bolt-on acquisitions or purchases of significant shares in certain companies.

In July 2016 Total announced plans to acquire compatriot battery manufacturer Saft in a €950 million deal, almost five years after it clinched a deal with US solar manufacturer SunPower for a 66% stake.

Last month Total made its anticipated move into the electric vehicle charging market, acquiring France’s G2mobility.

Furthermore, Sauquet added that in waiting for the right time to ramp up its investment in renewables, Total was able to realise some key advantages over its rivalries. Sauquet said the firm would not be saddled with legacy assets that would not necessarily perform as expected, and Total would also be able to “design its own entrance” into the market, benefiting from digitised assets and technologies “from the very beginning”.

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