Shell has been widely credited with leading Big Oil’s energy transition, spending $1bn-2bn a year globally on a bewildering array of green-energy investments — from offshore wind to off-grid solar, from electric-vehicle (EV) charging networks to clean hydrogen, and from battery-based virtual power plants to blockchain peer-to-peer energy trading.
On the surface, it seems like an unfocused scattershot approach — like throwing mud at different walls and seeing what sticks. So what is the overarching strategy of Shell’s New Energies division? And what will it mean for the renewables sector and the wider energy transition — and, ultimately, for the fight against climate change?
“The fundamental reason we created the New Energies business was a recognition that the world needs to transition to lower carbon energy,” the division’s boss, executive vice-president Mark Gainsborough, tells Recharge.