Shell Making A Huge Shift to Renewables

Shell is not being shy when it comes to ensuring a powerful transition into renewable energy production. Maarten Wetselaar, the director of Shell’s integrated gas and new energies division, thinks his company could become the largest power company in the world by the early 2030s. “It's mostly driven by the, we think, irreversible choice the world has made to decarbonize, to address climate change, and to go to [a] net-zero energy system,” he said in an interview last week. “And by far, the easiest form of energy consumption that can be carbon-free is electricity. So to an extent, it's about survival, but it's also about, of course, playing a positive role in energy transition. We see the two as equally powerful.”

Even though Shell is the #2 oil explorer by market value they are now spending around $2 billion a year in cleantech so it looks like an honest effort to transition. “They (Shell Official) realize that energy is a big task, and it needs big companies with big balance sheets to really go after it,” Wetselaar said. “You can't just subsidize your way into it, or do it through startups only. It needs also the power of big companies.” “If I build an oil platform of $10 billion, it will cost me $10 billion,” he said. “If I build a wind farm that costs $10 billion, it's typically 75 percent...financed by banks, and I'll typically have partners in it that fund half. So my $1 billion can actually give rise to a $10 billion wind farm. […] So there's a bigger multiplier to our investment there.”