Shell joins Carbon Trust programme to drive lower offshore wind costs

Shell Global Solutions International BV, the technical services and technologies arm of oil and gas giant Shell, has today (June 21) announced that it has joined a Carbon Trust programme aimed at overcoming market barriers to offshore wind deployment.

The firm becomes the latest corporate to join the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) scheme, which sees businesses commit to funding research and development of technology that will reduce the cost of offshore wind.

The move sees Shell join the likes of E.ON, Ørsted and the Scottish Government in a bid to develop industry best practice and trigger the development of new standards.

“The Carbon Trust’s OWA is a good example of the collaboration required between public and private sectors,” Shell’s vice president of wind development, Dorine Bosman, said.

“The research and development programme will be key to delivering technical, commercial and financial innovations for large scale and sustainable offshore wind opportunities in the future.”

Through its involvement in the OWA programme, Shell will also team up with EnBW, Equinor, innogy SE, SSE Renewables and Vattenfall Wind Power to improve offshore wind prospects.

Last year’s Contract for Difference (CfD) auction saw bids for two new offshore wind contracts reach “unprecedented” low prices of £57.50/MWh – almost half of the average strike price two years prior. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) also expects the price to average £53/MWh between 2023 to 2035.

Renewables revolution

Shell has taken several moves to decarbonise its energy production in recent months after promising to halve the carbon footprint of the energy it sells by 2050, following pressure from customers and shareholders. 

At a global level, the firm doubled its spending on clean power last year, and in Europe, Shell Energy this year agreed a five-year supply deal to source renewable power from the second largest solar power plant in the UK.

Nonetheless, Royal Dutch Shell this year confirmed that it would invest in North Sea projects for the first time in six years in a move that will increase the company’s UK oil production by a third.

Sarah George

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