Shell boss Ben van Beurden warned that inadequate policies to support the energy transition mean it is moving too slowly, especially in relation to hydrogen, as he prepares to step down as CEO of the oil supermajor.

Van Beurden, who like other European oil & gas chiefs has steered Shell into sectors such as offshore wind, power storage and the fledgling hydrogen economy, said: “We’ve been clear that energy transition policies will have to accelerate.”

Van Beurden, who is stepping down as Shell CEO at the end of the year after nine years in the role, told reporters: “Hydrogen does not go fast enough. That’s not because there is lack of funding or lack of appetite.

“Quite often there is not supportive enough policies to make these business models come out of the woodwork.”

The Shell boss did not elaborate further, but some energy chiefs have recently compared Europe's policies to back hydrogen expansion unfavourably with those in the US, where aggressive measures have been introduced to incentivise green H2.

Van Beurden – who will be succeeded as CEO by Shell’s current gas and renewables chief Wael Sawan – said it was encouraging that more discussions were underway with governments over how to accelerate permitting of projects and infrastructure, which he labelled “often the rate-determining step” in the transition.

The outgoing Shell chief also told reporters that he feels vindicated by a decision mid-last decade not to move into the market for renewable power generation equipment, as suggested by some commentators.

“It was very much in people’s minds to ask, 'why don’t you buy a solar panel [or wind turbine] firm'.

“I still believe it was the right choice not to do that, because indeed the margins in these businesses are challenged.”

Van Beurden took his last set of questions from reporters as Shell posted $9.5bn of third quarter profits that sparked renewed calls for additional windfall tax measures in its home UK market.

The Shell CEO said it was a “societal reality” that during time of extreme price pressures on consumers “our industry will be looked at for taxes to fund the transfer to those who need it most”.