Shell Gets Out of Wind & Solar Power, Backs Biofuels and CCS Instead

tar sands canada photo

Shell hopes that CCS technology will reduce the emissions from carbon-intensive projects such as this Athabasca oil sands project. Too bad that CCS will do absolutely nothing for the water intensity of these projects, nor toxicity of that water afterwards. Photo: Shell

In what seems to be to be astounding stubborness, oil company Shell says it will no longer be investing in wind and solar power, instead focusing on biofuels and developing carbon capture and storage technologies so it can reduce the emissions from extracting oil from Canada's tar sands. Until recently Shell had touted its investements in wind power, being one of the original backers of the 1,000 MW London Array. That is, until it pulled out leaving the future of the project in limbo for some time:Biofuels a Better Fit for Shell Than Other Renewables
Shell's executive director of gas and power, Linda Cook said that many alternative energy sources did not offer attractive investment opportunities, and that biofuels better fit the company's core business. She was quoted in The Guardian as saying,

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 are renewables [which made money] we would put money into it.

It's now looking like biofuels 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.

Shell Looking Backwards...
The thing that's astounding in all that isn't that Shell's primary objective is making money for investors, nor that it may have difficulty developing wind and solar power at the moment. What boggles my mind is that despite all the evidence that biofuels show less promise than we once thought at reducing carbon emissions (for the most part, there are exceptions) and have a number of unintended land use consequences, that despite all the evidence that wind and solar will only take up a greater portion of our energy needs, that despite its own CEO saying that peak oil will be upon us within six years, Shell remains stuck in the past.

via: The Guardian
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