July 20 (UPI) -- Canadian energy company Suncor said it sees oil and gas as having a long future ahead, but renewables are evolving as an important balance in its portfolio.
"Suncor has an ambitious greenhouse gas emissions goal to reduce carbon intensity by 30 percent by 2030, and investment in renewable energy is part of the solution," the company stated in an annual sustainability report.
Suncor operates facilities in oil-rich Alberta. The province itself has steered more than $54 million toward an Oil Sands Innovation Challenge to demonstrate commercial technology that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from production.
The funding is part of a broader $1 billion, seven-year investment aimed at diversifying a provincial economy that depends heavily on oil revenue. Suncor, for its part, said its emissions goals would be met through improving energy efficiency, cuts in production and refinery emissions and investments in low-carbon power options.
The company commissioned its first wind power project in 2002 and has since developed eight projects that combine for peak capacity of 395 megawatts. A single megawatt could theoretically power about 1,000 average households.
Suncor in its sustainability report said it has at least 1,000 MW of renewable energy projects in various stages of development. Of those, four include solar energy sites in southern Alberta.
President and CEO Steve Williams said that, while renewable energy is building its presence in the company's portfolio, oil and gas remain a significant part of the mix.
"That doesn't mean it's business as usual," he stated in the report. "Climate change is real - one of the most pressing challenges of our time - and we all have a shared responsibility to find solutions. Failing to act is not an option."
Suncor's Syncrude oil sands facility in Alberta was crippled by a power outage in June, giving some support to regional crude oil prices. The company said in early July the facility won't be at full capacity against until September.