Chevron Corp. prefers to return money to its shareholders rather than use it to invest in solar and wind power projects, according to the CEO of the U.S. oil major.
The two renewable sources of energy generate low financial returns for stockholders, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth said in a Sept. 15 interview on CNBC. Instead, he said investors could use dividend payments from Chevron to invest directly in renewable projects.
“We rather dividend it back to shareholders and let them plant trees,” Wirth added.
Wirth’s comments follow a pledge by Chevron to nearly triple its investment in clean energy projects to $10 billion. Though, instead of wind and solar, Chevron is targeting investments in the renewable fuels, hydrogen and carbon capture spaces.
“Renewable fuels, hydrogen and carbon capture target customers such as airlines, transport companies and industrial producers,” Jeff Gustavson, president of Chevron New Energies, commented in a company release announcing Chevron’s lower carbon ambitions on Sept. 14.
“These sectors of the economy are not easily electrified, and customers are seeking lower carbon fuels and other solutions to reduce carbon emissions,” Gustavson said.
Chevron launched its New Energies business unit headed by Gustavson in July in response to growing pressures for the company address climate change. Gustavson previously oversaw the U.S. oil major’s shale operations as vice president of Chevron North America Exploration & Production Co.
Reuters contributed to this article.
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