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article imageShell ups the stakes in race for clean energy betting on LNG

By Karen Graham     Jan 26, 2018 in Business
Royal Dutch Shell has been having a growth-spurt recently, growing to a $300 billion oil giant. At the same time, Shell has spent over $400 million on a range of acquisitions in recent weeks, from solar power to electric car charging points.
Fortune describes Shell as a "big cash machine." The Anglo-Dutch oil major had profits of close to $9 billion in the first three quarters of 2017 and employs 90,000 people in over 70 countries If the company were a nation, it would have the world's seventh-largest carbon footprint.
Shell's buying spree is nothing compared to its annual budget of $25 billion. However, it is obvious the company is looking at the far-bigger picture for clean energy and reducing its carbon footprint in its expansion beyond oil and gas. And Shell's investments are not limited to renewables like wind and solar.
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Shell, along with BP, Exxon Mobil and Chevron are all betting on the rising demand for liquid natural gas (LNG) in the coming years. LNG is the least polluting of the fossil fuels. And Shell, along with others in the industry have concluded oil demand is likely to peak between the late 2020s and the late 2040s
A Shell Oil (Royal Dutch Shell) gas station near the interchange of California State Route 46 and In...
A Shell Oil (Royal Dutch Shell) gas station near the interchange of California State Route 46 and Interstate 5 near Lost Hills, California.
Coolcaesar (CC BY-SA 3.0)
A transition from petroleum to electricity
LNG is expected to power the surge in electric vehicles in the next few years, and to that end, in December, Shell acquired independent British power provider First Utility for around $200 million, according to several sources who spoke with Reuters.
With the acquisition of First Utility, Shell hopes to find a retail market outlet for its LNG supplies as people opt to charge their EVs at home. Shell has also ventured back into solar, after 12 years, Buying a 43.86 percent stake in Silicon Ranch Corporation for $217 million.
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Nashville, Tennessee-based Silicon Ranch Corporation develops, owns, and operates utility-scale solar power purchase agreement projects for Fortune 500 companies. It also operates a regional energy-training center that provides classroom and on-the-job training in solar installation, maintenance, and weatherization activities.
In the past few months, Shell has also invested in two projects to develop charging stations for EVs across Europe. Additionally, the company has signed agreements to buy solar power in Britain, and develop renewable power grids in Africa and Asia.
More about Royal dutch shell, Lng, oil and gas', BG group, Big oil
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