Energy systems are changing. This is happening at varying rates and with different degrees of complexity around the world. Such a transition is driven by growing energy demand and an urgent need to curb CO2 emissions.

Shell is working to understand these shifting energy landscapes, to seize the right business opportunities and to explore, as well as lay foundations for, a range of new energy models. Our New Energies business will build on our experience in lower-carbon technologies, with the aim of providing more and cleaner energy solutions.

Our core areas

New fuels for transport

Female customer refuelling at hydrogen station

Shell is investing in the development of alternative fuels to help meeting growing demand for transport in a low carbon energy future.

Transport now accounts for more than one-quarter of the world’s total energy use, and one fifth of global energy-related CO2 emissions. The International Energy Agency estimates that the number of cars on the road is likely to double by 2050.

The way we move the world’s growing number of people and goods must be balanced with efforts to reduce emissions to reduce CO2 and local emissions.

Shell is a leader in the development of biofuels, which produce fewer CO2 emissions than petrol over its life cycle. In Brazil, with our joint venture Raízen, we have a facility capable of turning sugar cane waste into fuel. Raizen already produces one of the lowest-CO2 biofuels available today, ethanol from sugar cane in Brazil.

In Bangalore, India, we have opened a plant showcasing an advanced biofuel process, which turns biomass and waste into fuel that can be put straight into a car, van or truck.

In Germany, we are partners with the government and five companies in a programme to install a national network of around 400 hydrogen fuelling stations (230 Shell-branded) in Germany by 2023. The only exhaust emission from hydrogen-fuelled electric vehicles is water.

We are also making inroads into the electric car market. From 2017, Shell will launch electric vehicle fast-charging services at a selection of Shell forecourts in the UK and the Netherlands. This service will take around just 30 minutes to refuel. Other countries are expected to follow. 

Shell has also been looking at how charging of vehicles can be successfully integrated to the power grid and is the early stages of launching a smart charging technology service.

We also offer gas-to-liquid technology (GTL) for transport, which can help lower local emissions, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for transport, which is emerging as a cleaner fuel to power heavy-duty transport. Shell now has six LNG fuelling stations in the Netherlands and are looking to expand across Europe. In 2016, we signed an agreement with Carnival Corporation to supply LNG to fuel two of the world’s largest passenger cruise ships. 

Renewable power

Highway traffic speeds through the foreground of a four turbine wind farm in Central Nova Scotia. Long exposure in dusk light.

Shell has been active in wind for more than 15 years. Today, we are helping grow the share of renewables in the power generation mix, with six onshore wind power projects in North America and one offshore wind farm in Europe.

In addition, we are part of a consortium that is developing the Borssele windfarm off the Dutch coast, which is expected to generate more than 680MW hours a year, enough to power approximately 825,000 Dutch households.

To date, our experience in solar connects to our conventional business. We have invested in a company that is building a one gigawatt solar thermal plant - one of the largest ever - which is designed to help make oil production in Oman less carbon-intensive. 

Moving forward, our approach includes developing solar projects that are in line with customer needs. In Australia, for example, we are investigating the feasibility of a solar energy project on our land in the Western Downs region of Queensland.

We believe the number of customers choosing solar power will continue to grow. We are working to help meet this demand and have, for example, invested in the Singapore-based Sunseap Group. At the same time, we are looking to expand the deployment of solar PV in our own operations.

We are also continuing to grow our power trading and marketing business. In the USA, we already are the one of the largest wholesale marketers of power. One third of the generation capacity we manage in the USA is from renewables, including hydro, wind and solar.

The amount of electricity supplied by renewable energy varies since it relies on sunny skies or wind. Natural gas is a perfect partner to provide back-up for wind and solar, as storage develops. We are also developing models to help customers better manage their energy use, while at the same time looking at commercial opportunities to bring power to remote communities.

Digital connectivity

Where the coffee and connection are strong

With two-thirds of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, we have been working to better understand urbanisation and how to improve city life. Our New Energies business is seeking to develop ways of connecting customers with new lower-carbon business models that harness digital technology.

In recent years, a new set of customers has appeared: self-employed drivers in search of passengers.  In response, we have developed an app, called FarePilot, that helps them identify high demand areas. This is already being used in the UK, helping drivers swiftly find their next fare and potentially saving them fuel that would have been expended driving around.

In the USA, the Fitcar™ app, which is under trial, will transform a regular car into a “connected car” that can provide maintenance alerts and information on the engine, as well as the location of nearby services. And, through our innovation arm, Shell Technology Ventures, we have invested in Tiramizoo, a German start-up whose online technology connects retailers with customers.

Mark Gainsborough

Mark Gainsborough

Mark Gainsborough heads up Shell’s New Energies business. He has spent over 30 years in the energy business, working in marketing, sales, supply chain, trading and strategy roles. 

He helped to develop Shell’s strategy in alternative energies and to make investments in a range of biofuels technologies. He was responsible for Shell’s participation in the creation of the Raízen joint venture in Brazil, which is now the world’s largest producer of sugar-cane ethanol. Mark also led Shell’s contribution to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development report on Sustainable Mobility, published in 2005, which anticipated many of the technology trends of the last decade.

With a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy, Gainsborough has experience with a variety of environmental and sustainability issues.

Read his latest thoughts on LinkedIn

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What we do

Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies. 

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