Winner of the 2016
Award for Leadership
in New Energy

The winner of the 2016 Award for Leadership in New Energy is French company Total, which has emerged as a leader among oil majors in adapting its business model to the climate challenge.


The company has made significant investments in alternative energy, placed an increasing emphasis on natural gas and, more broadly, integrated climate change into its strategy.


"Total stands out from its peers in its commitment to a cleaner energy future," said Lauren Craft, editor of EI New Energy. "It has gone far beyond words, by making substantial investments, setting ambitious targets, and placing climate at the heart of its corporate strategy."


Total recently created a new integrated gas, renewables and power segment as part of its bid to "become the responsible energy major." In 2011, Total became a global leader in solar energy with its purchase of a majority stake in SunPower, the vertically intgrated US solar company. Total acquired in 2016 French battery-maker Saft, which should allow for in-house production of batteries for intermittent solar photovoltaic units, positioning its solar business to become even more integrated. Earlier this month, Total bought Belgian gas distribution and renewable power provider Lampiris. The venture capital arm of Total has made a range of other investments in areas such as energy storage, biofuels, fuel cells, off-grid solar and wind.


Total, whose ambition is to remain among the top 3 profitable major oil and gas companies, is diversifying its hydrocarbon business and aims to produce over 60% natural gas by 2035. The company also aims to have low-carbon business make up 20% of its portfolio within the same timeframe. As a producer and provider of electricity, Total envisions being an "industrial player" in the electricity market, which Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanné calls "the energy of the 21st century." It has pledged to use the International Energy Agency's 2°C scenario as its "handbook."