Shell eyes renewables

John Mills, director of corporate affairs for Shell UK Ltd, at a renewable energy conference last year said: "Market liberalisation - deregulation - is worldwide and growing. London Water is marketing gas in the capital! And this trend is likely to continue."

With this in mind, Shell is putting together a long-term strategy to develop electricity sales based on production from power produced from renewable energy in Finland. The company is also contemplating a minority or majority equity interest in biofuel plants, as has been confirmed to Finland's Ministry of Trade and Industry by Shell Finland's chief executive, Matti Salonen.

"From the research we have conducted I believe it is feasible that we can start up our own projects," says Salonen. "In 2040-2050 half our energy production will come from renewable sources. The time is right for Shell to engage in this sector in a different way."

Shell now intends to become a key player in the production and marketing of electricity, worldwide. Shell Renewables, established as a new Royal Dutch Shell Group core business in October 1997, recently announced a move into two new markets with the opening of a wholly-owned subsidiary in India - Shell Renewables India - and the acquisition of a company in Sri Lanka, which will trade as Shell Renewables Sri Lanka. The former, based in Bangalore, will initially market solar photovoltaic energy systems to people living in rural areas. Solar modules will be assembled locally using multi-crystalline cells imported from Shell Renewables" manufacturing plant in the Netherlands or the plant in Germany due to come on stream later this year. The multinational's Solar business is focusing on four areas: grid connected solar systems; Industry; consumer; and rural electrification.


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