MADRID- Spanish oil and gas group Cepsa will spend 7-8 billion euros ($7.8-8.9 billion) on shifting its business to low-carbon energy sources by 2030, in line with a fossil fuel industry under pressure to limit its contribution to climate change.

Cepsa, which was born as the Spanish Petroleum Company in 1929 and is owned by Abu Dhabi fund Mubadala and the Carlyle Group, said on Wednesday it targets net-zero emissions by 2050.

New Chief Executive Maarten Wetselaar, who took over this year after 25 years at Shell, wants sustainable businesses including low-carbon jet fuel and renewably-produced hydrogen to generate more than half the group's core earnings from by 2030, from around 14% in 2022.

Its long-standing chemicals business and oil and gas exploration and production strategies will not change, the company said, but the latter unit will have what it described as "greater autonomy" to generate cash to pump into the company's reinvention.

Cepsa is considering strategic alternatives for the chemicals business, a process Wetselaar said "is ongoing with all options still on the table", but added: "We are not in such a process for E&P (exploration and production) at the moment."

The company wants to make the most of a "historic opportunity," Wetselaar said, developing southern Spain's wind and solar resources and building plants with a combined capacity of 7 gigawatts (GW), roughly equivalent to seven nuclear plants.

Overall, the plan aims to "help strengthen Europe's energy security and independence," Wetselaar said.

Cepsa has high hopes for so-called green hydrogen, produced by passing renewably-produced electricity through water to split the element from oxygen, a nascent sector that the European Union sees as a way to cut emissions, especially from heavy industry.

Cepsa said it aims to install production capacity to produce green hydrogen for import and export between Europe, Africa and the Middle East equivalent to 2 GW. Hydrogen refuelling stations for heavy road transport will appear next to electric vehicle chargers at its service stations.

($1 = 0.9001 euros)

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Barbara Lewis and Louise Heavens)