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Reality Check: Shell Dumps Wind, Solar and Hydro Power March 19, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Reality Check: Shell Dumps Wind, Solar and Hydro Power

Posted on ICECAP

By Tim Webb, The Guardian. Hat Tip Dr. Benny Peiser CCNET

Shell will no longer invest in renewable technologies such as wind, solar and hydro power because they are not economic, the Anglo-Dutch oil company said today. It plans to invest more in biofuels which environmental groups blame for driving up food prices and deforestation.

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Executives at its annual strategy presentation said Shell, already the world’s largest buyer and blender of crop-based biofuels, would also invest an unspecified amount in developing a new generation of biofuels which do not use food-based crops and are less harmful to the environment.

The company said it would concentrate on developing other cleaner ways of using fossil fuels, such as carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. It hoped to use CCS to reduce emissions from Shell’s controversial and energy-intensive oil sands projects in northern Canada.

The company said that many alternative technologies did not offer attractive investment opportunities. Linda Cook, Shell’s executive director of gas and power, said: “If there aren’t investment opportunities which compete with other projects we won’t put money into it. We are businessmen and women. If there were renewables [which made money] we would put money into it.”

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Shell said biofuels fitted its core business of providing fuels, logistics, trading and branding. Cook added: “It’s now looking like bio�fuels is one which is closest to what we do in Shell. Wind and solar are interesting [but] we may continue to struggle with other investment opportunities in the portfolio even with big subsidies in many markets. We do not expect material investment [in wind and solar] going forward.”

Until recently, Shell’s investment in wind power featured prominently in its corporate advertisements. FoE said the company’s move heralded a slightly more honest approach. “Shell is at least being a bit more honest about the fact they are a fossil fuel company. It has seen the limitations of the greenwash it was putting out a few years ago.” Read more here.

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