This will include technologies to increase car engine and fuel efficiency, and innovation in carbon capture and storage.

The companies are part of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which was created in 2014 with UN backing.

Both Shell and BP have existing investments in renewables, although they are far smaller in scale than their oil and gas businesses.

BP invested $8bn in renewables from 2005-2010 as part of its “beyond petroleum” push but has since scaled back investments significantly. It retains a biofuels business in Brazil and owns a series of large wind farms in the US after unsuccessfully trying to sell them.

It is also looking at small investments in technology development businesses.

Shell created a “new energies” division earlier this year and has said it intends to establish a portfolio to build on its “established strengths in low-carbon biofuels, hydrogen and smart customer solutions; as well as in solar and wind”. 

It is spending about $200m a year on research and development, compared with total capex of about $29bn this year.

Defending its position on renewables earlier this year, Mr van Beurden told the Telegraph Shell could not be expected to act against its economic interest. “I cannot invest $15-20bn in solar and wind, which is quite often what people somehow hope us to do, and also still at same time pay a dividend,” he said. 



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