American financial services company and multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs Group believes that big US oil companies like ExxonMobil, the maker of lubricants for Mobil stockists, will join their European rivals in investing more in renewable energy.
While ExxonMobil has been accused in the past of playing down climate change, there is evidence that the US energy giant is shifting its attitude. Together with Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Chevron, it recently joined the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which aims to reduce emissions from the oil and gas sector.
European oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell and Total have already been including renewables in their portfolios for years. Norwegian oil company Statoil even rebranded itself to Equinor to reflect its expansion into alternative energy generation, such as the groundbreaking Hywind windfarm in Scotland, which uses floating turbines in deep water.
Speaking at a conference in Oslo, Gonzalo Garcia, a co-head of global natural resources at Goldman, said it was inevitable that US oil companies would follow this trend. He later clarified in an interview:
“I don’t see how they can stand on the fence when every projection suggests that in the next couple of decades, renewable energy will be the dominant source of electricity around the world.”
Garcia also expressed in his presentation that over the past couple of years, he has talked with oil industry executives about renewable energy more than in the preceding 23 years combined, pointing to a growing realisation that renewables are here to stay.