Can a Major Energy Operator Successfully Incorporate Renewables into Its Core Operations?

Key Takeaways:

  • Total, a major energy operator based in France, is diversifying its supply to meet the growing demand of energy in the long term.
  • Total is investing heavily in renewable R&D projects, notably in solar and biofuels.
  • Through its joint venture affiliates Tenesol and Photovoltech, Total is working to make solar energy technology more reliable, efficient, and competitive.
  • Total is a major shareholder in US technology companies like Konarka and AE Polysilicon that focus on advancing solar technologies.


With activities in more than 130 countries and a team of 93,000 experts working in all parts of the energy industry, Total stands as one of the world’s front-runners in the oil and gas sector. However, the Paris-based company understands that conventional fuel sources will not sustain future energy demands. Hence, Total has been proactively investing and actively participating in various renewable R&D projects, notably in solar, gas & power and biofuels, striving to diversify its supply to prepare for long-term energy needs.

Total’s dedication to energy transition isn’t a recent development. The company has actively been a part of the solar energy sector since 1983. It has built strong expertise along the photovoltaic solar power chain through its joint venture affiliates Tenesol and Photovoltech, marking its strong intent in making photovoltaic technology more efficient and competitive.

What sets Total Apart?

Total’s approach to incorporating renewable energy into its core operations is comprehensive and forward-looking. Unlike many traditional energy operators, Total hasn’t limited itself to one type of renewable energy. They are not only engaged in solar and biofuel research projects but are also prominent shareholders in US technology companies like Konarka, which develops products based on organic solar technologies, and AE Polysilicon, dedicated to a new solar polysilicon production technology. Their diversified investment in the renewable sector is an attempt to stay ahead of the energy transition curve.

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Another strength that sets Total apart is its manufacturing prowess. Tenesol, a leading solar panel manufacturer and a joint venture affiliate of Total, has substantial industrial footprint in Toulouse, France, and Cape Town, South Africa. This ensures that the advancements Total makes in the R&D of solar technology can swiftly transition into the mass manufacturing stage, speeding up the renewable energy transition.


As a major energy operator, maintaining relevance in the face of the inevitable energy transition is as much a challenge as it is an opportunity for Total. By harnessing the possibilities of renewables, investing in R&D, fostering partnerships, and focusing on manufacturing, Total is manoeuvring itself to be a major player in the renewable energy space in years to come. The future seems bright for Total, assuming that the energy transition will continue to gain momentum in the face of growing environmental concerns.

To stay updated with Total’s activities and achievements in the renewable sector, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or visit their website.

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