UK-based oil giant BP has confirmed that it is looking to sell its US wind farm operation, rounding off its retreat from the renewable energy sector, 13 years after its 2000 pledge to go “Beyond Petroleum.” The company, which withdrew from the solar energy sector at the end of 2011, announced it would look to divest shares in wind assets worth as much as $3.1 billion in the US. The move is part of the company’s plan to focus on its main oil and gas business, and to help cover the tens of billions in costs the company is facing as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.
BP plans to dispose of interests in 16 operating wind farms in nine states with a total capacity of about 2,600 megawatts, the company said in an e-mailed statement. It will also sell projects in various stages of development, including 2,000MW of wind poised to start construction. BP also said in the statement that the sale was part of the company’s effort to re-position itself “for sustainable growth into the future.” It will leave BP’s renewable energy business limited to biofuels research and ethanol refining in Brazil. BP says it has invested $7.6 billion in alternative energy technology since 2005 and will meet its target of investing $8 billion in the sector by 2015 two years ahead of schedule.
In other news…
The world’s poorest countries – the 49-strong group of Least Developed Countries (LDC) – say they are now prepared to commit to binding cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions. A representative of the group, which is a major negotiating bloc at UN talks, said that under the leadership of current chair Prakash Mathema, the group was set to act proactively. “They will lead by example – by doing,” said lead LDC climate negotiator Quamrul Chowdury. “The LDCs are no longer waiting for others to act.”