BP, like most fossil fuel companies, is responding to the pressure from stakeholders on the effects of fossil fuels on the environment. On the fifteenth of December, BP announced the goal to spend $200 million to acquire a large stake in a Lightsource, a solar power developer based in Britain.
Before the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP was actively supporting the green economy. They invested in renewable energy, they acknowledged the dangers of fossil fuels and explored other ways to provide energy. With ner pressure from investors, BP, like most European oil companies, is now exploring other forms of energy. Statoil, the Norwegian giant, for example, is staking out a big position in offshore wind, and Total, the French company, last year bought a battery maker called Saft for 950 million euros, or $1.1 billion.
Profits from renewable energy may be less than estimated profits from drilling projects (est. 7 percent for renewables, and 18 percent from drilling), due to the newness of the technology and the size of the market, but renewables are not just a science experiment, it is a good business opportunity that could provide opportunities to break into new markets and expand potential profit. Energy companies must at least test the waters to make sure they are in the game when renewables do take off.