renewable energy and emerging technology
Chevron continues to be committed to understanding and evaluating the economic viability of investments in renewable energy. These include advanced biofuels, wind power and solar energy, in addition to energy efficiency technologies. We conduct internal research and collaborate with governments, businesses and academia in researching and developing alternative and renewable energy sources. Also, Chevron’s technology activities support the company’s worldwide operations and major capital projects by developing and deploying technology solutions that drive business growth and efficiency.
advanced solar technologies
Chevron's photovoltaic projects at Questa, New Mexico, and in the San Joaquin Valley, California, continue to test and evaluate solar technologies. The installation at Questa, for example, uses lenses to focus sunlight onto three-layer solar cells. Since its inception in April 2011 through the end of 2016, the Questa project has produced 9.1 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy.
Project Brightfield, a demonstration of solar energy technologies in Bakersfield, California, has evaluated seven photovoltaic technologies to help determine the potential application of renewable power at other company-owned facilities. The project currently operates on the site of a former Chevron refinery.
Chevron has also invested in five joint-venture photovoltaic solar facilities in California, Arizona and Texas, which, at peak capacity, generate a combined 73 megawatts of renewable energy.
Our Casper Wind Farm, commissioned in 2009, has turned a former refinery site near Casper, Wyoming, into an 11-turbine, 16.5 megawatt capacity wind farm, enough to power approximately 4,400 homes.
Biofuels are transportation fuels made from recently living organisms. They are renewable, meaning their sources can be regrown. Biofuels are generally divided into three categories:
- First-generation, or conventional, biofuels are made largely from sugars, starches and plant oils, many of which could be consumed as food. Often, blending of these biofuels into transportation fuels is mandated by law.
- Second-generation biofuels are made from nonedible cellulosic plant materials. Chevron is actively involved in the evaluation of options for biomass processing as part of our transportation fuels businesses, particularly in California. To date, our work, as well as that of others, to produce second-generation biofuels has not been successful in identifying an option that is economic at scale without subsidies. However, we are leveraging our current manufacturing facilities to co-process biofuels with traditional petroleum products.
- Third-generation biofuel production from algae and other biological processes is still in the research stage. Most efforts are targeted toward specialty chemical and pharmaceutical products given the challenges in scale and economics associated with fuels production.
Chevron believes that second- and third-generation biofuels could help meet the world’s future energy needs if they are scalable, sustainable and affordable for consumers. That’s why Chevron is working on developing solutions that meet the criteria of scalability, sustainability and cost under an effective policy framework.
Chevron differentiates performance through the application of technology, applying a portfolio approach that includes proprietary solutions, in-house expertise, strategic partnerships and venture capital investments. This integrated, open-innovation sourcing and deployment approach builds on the company’s strengths in upstream and downstream technologies, transportation technologies and information technology.
chevron technology ventures
Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV) is a division of Chevron that identifies, evaluates and demonstrates emerging technologies. CTV champions innovation, commercialization and integration of emerging technologies within Chevron.learn more