Royal Dutch Shell Plc (Shell) does not intend to make any more large investments in wind and solar energy in the future and does not expect hydrogen to play an important role in energy supply for some time. The company’s future involvement in renewable energy sector will be principally limited to biofuel. The decision may anger environmental groups who, in recent years, have put pressure on Shell over its major investments in Canada's oil sands, energy and water intensive business.
We do not expect material amounts of investment in those areas going forward, Shell’s Head Of Gas and Power Unit Linda Cook said.
They continue to struggle to compete with the other investment opportunities we have in our portfolio, Cook said of solar and wind.
In 2008, Shell said that it was refocusing its wind business on the US as it pulled out of European projects.
Shell has around 550 megawatt (MW) of wind power capacity but does not break out figures for investment in each renewable energy source.
From 1999-2006 Shell invested around $1.25 billion in green energy, as per Reuters. Wind played a large part of that.
One renewables analyst said that the decision could reflect the $100/bbl drop in oil prices since July 2008 which has eased concerns about energy supply and the economic crisis which has pushed environmental concerns down the agenda.
There may not be any political pressure on them to invest in renewables at this particular stage, the analyst said.
While Shell’s advertising focuses on its involvement in renewable energy, only about 1% of its investments go to these energy sources.