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Cleaner Energy Initiative of the Year, 2016: Total

Through a number of strategic acquisitions that see the company move further into new, sustainable energies, Total has set itself apart from other leading players.

The company recently created its integrated gas, renewables and power segment, which is to be the lynchpin in a long-term transitional plan to become the sustainable energy provider of choice over the course of the next thirty years.

Total has long recognised the potential of the solar energy market. In 2011 it acquired a 60% shareholding in US-based high-tech solar panel manufacturer, SunPower, for $1.38bn.

As a result of the investment, today SunPower manufactures solar panels that convert 24.1% of solar energy to power, compared with around 17% for industry standard technology. SunPower panels also emit 40% less greenhouse gas than standard panels.

Since Total’s investment, SunPower has made several bolt-on acquisitions, most notably Tenesol SA, SolarBridge Technologies, Greenbotics and Cogenra.

To support its long-term clean energy plan, last year Total announced that it would invest $500m a year in renewables to fund its expansion in the biofuels and solar sectors.

The most recent of Total’s strategic acquisitions in the renewable energy sector is that of French high-tech battery maker, Saft, for $1.1bn, announced in May this year.

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