The business case for low carbon power

world | Mar 21, 2007 | By Vivienne Cox, BP Executive Vice President

Thank you and good evening everyone. I'm very grateful to the Energy Institute for hosting this evening's event

And thank you all very much indeed for joining us. I appreciate that there are many people here tonight who have much experience of the energy industry in India and beyond. I thank you for joining us and I look forward to hearing your views.

I am delighted to be back in India. It is a great opportunity to learn more about what is happening here as well as to explain what BP is doing around the world.

In explaining our work, I'll focus on my own business, BP Alternative Energy, which is dedicated to generating power from the low carbon sources of solar, wind, gas and hydrogen.

Alternative Energy is of course part of the wider BP Group which has nearly 100,000 people in over 100 countries. We produce oil and gas at a rate of nearly 4 million barrels a day and we are constantly looking to play our part in creating a sustainable energy industry which is strong in energy efficiency and low-carbon products.

Someone asked me recently if the BP Alternative Energy business was a real commercial venture or simply a public relations exercise.

My answer was to point out that we plan to invest more than $8 billion in Alternative Energy over the next decade - so it would be an extremely expensive publicity stunt!

The truth is that this is not public relations. It is a significant business. And it exists because there is a strong business case for low carbon power - one that gets stronger every day. That business case is about responding to the need for energy:
  • that is sufficient to meet people's needs;
  • that is local and secure;
  • and that is also clean and environmentally-friendly.
Dr. Singh, your Prime Minister, recently set out his aspiration by saying: "If we are able to eliminate poverty, provide gainful employment to all and do this while protecting the environment, we would have shown a new path to sustainable development."1

For me, that is exactly the kind of vision to inspire the world of business. We have to find ways to address each of those needs.

So tonight I want to explain why our business exists, what we are doing, and what we plan to achieve in the next decade or so.

To do that, I will cover four things

  • why we believe the environment is important - alongside providing secure energy for growth;
  • why we are looking to move beyond hydrocarbons in the energy we provide;
  • why low-carbon power is significant;
  • and last but certainly not least, why India is important to BP and why I believe it has much to offer to the developing low carbon economy.
1. Why the environment?
We believe that businesses prosper if they fulfil human needs - and companies such as BP fulfil the need for energy. Energy is central to growth and development because it provides affordable solutions for heat, light and mobility. It lights up our homes, helps us cook our meals, provides power for our factories, and fuels our mode



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