State-owned oil companies are acting more nimble than the private oil majors: globally, state-owned fossil fuel firms are investing in renewables

State-owned oil companies are acting more nimble than the private majors.  In Denmark, Norway, France and Saudi Arabia, gigantic state-owned oil companies are becoming some of the biggest players in renewables.

Denmark’s DONG (Danish Oil and Gas) Energy is the leading offshore wind developer. Norway’s Statoil parlayed its pioneer R&D in offshore oil platforms into global leadership in floating offshore wind platforms.

Total of France just bought the battery firm SAFT with $1 billion; increasing its ownership of SunPower. The quasi-governmental Saudi firm ACWA Power is breaking records in both PV and CSP bids globally.

Modi sees a similar future for India: “Make in India” is in every presentation he gives. So India needs to quickly grow a sustainable energy supply.

“Modi’s major campaign strategy is to make India the manufacturing hub of the world,” Buckley said.

Two big oil companies, Indian Oil Corp and Oil India, which are partly or fully state-owned, have begun permitting a 1-GW solar farm in Madhya Pradesh, according to the state agency.

India’s largest coal-fired electric utilities, the partly state-owned Tata Power, and NTPC, are competing to become the biggest players in developing renewable energy. Oil & Natural Gas Corp. says it plans a “reasonable share” in its overall business mix for renewables.