French energy giant Total and Microsoft on Thursday announced their agreement to collaborate as strategic partners to further digital transformation and support progress towards net-zero emissions.
Microsoft plans to use 100% renewable energy by 2025, while Total aims to reach 35 gigawatts (GW) of renewable electricity capacity in 2025 and nearly 100 GW in 2030.
Total will assist Microsoft to secure renewable energy through power purchase agreements (PPAs). A first PPA of 47 MW has already been agreed upon for Microsoft’s Spanish operations.
Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI) solutions will help the company to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy through the deployment of low-carbon and carbon removal technologies.
Microsoft also aims to use large-scale batteries in generators to provide backup power for data centers, which will contribute to the company’s sustainability objective to eliminate its dependency on diesel fuel by 2030.
With this aim, Microsoft and Total have established a partnership to assess the long-term feasibility of deploying large batteries as backup power for critical infrastructure with the help of Total’s affiliate Saft.
Total has decided to accelerate its IT transformation and leverage the power of Azure, its cloud computing service. Microsoft created Azure for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers for digital transformation projects and Total’s Digital Factory. This new digital facility brings together digital specialists and experts to work on devising Total’s customized digital solutions for its operations.
The company said it plans to broaden and enrich its existing modern workplace environment, based on Microsoft Office 365, which will provide collaborative and productive solutions for its employees and its operations.
Through Microsoft’s business application, Power Platform, Total said it would automate business processes, reduce costs and allow easier access to data for its citizen developers.
"The rapid development of Total and Microsoft in their areas of expertise brings many opportunities of cooperation for both companies, who are at the forefront of the fight against climate change," said Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of Total.
"We have an enormous opportunity to use advances in digital technology to reduce greenhouse emissions," said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
By Sibel Morrow