Swipe or click through these six films to discover more about how we’re providing customers with more and cleaner electricity.

What is electricity?

Electricity – the presence and flow of charged particles – allows us to turn on lights, charge our phones and read webpages, like this one. A reliable supply of electricity helps society to prosper, powering schools, hospitals and businesses. Electricity is the fastest-growing part of the energy system.

How is electricity generated?

Electricity can be generated from a range of sources, from burning fuels to tapping into kinetic energy. Changing the mix can help reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality.

Electricity from variable renewable sources, such as wind and solar, can be combined with the electricity produced by gas-fired power stations. This mix helps ensure a secure and stable supply to customers.

How is electricity bought and sold?

In many countries, trading firms buy and sell electricity through electricity markets. This can be done in several ways and on a short- or long-term basis.

Shell Energy North America, for example, manages more than 10,000 megawatts of power generation capacity, enough to power around 5 million US homes. Around one-third of this comes from renewable sources.

How does electricity reach our homes and businesses?

Electricity is generated in power stations. It flows through large transmission lines, which carry it to substations. Finally, distribution lines carry electricity from substations to homes and businesses.

Shell is providing electricity directly to homes in the UK through Shell Energy Retail, as well as directly to businesses.

How is electricity stored?

One way to help balance fluctuations in electricity supply and demand is through storage. This can be done using batteries.

Shell is investing in large-scale storage for commercial and industrial customers. We have, for example, formed a joint venture with electricity storage system developer Convergent Energy + Power to deploy industrial battery storage at our Sarnia manufacturing site in Ontario, Canada. As another example, through GI Energy, which we acquired in 2018, we’re working with New York utility Con Edison.

We also bought innovative German company sonnen, which provides battery storage systems to homes with solar panels.

How do electric vehicles (EVs) work?

EVs store electricity in rechargeable batteries which power an electric motor. EVs plug into a charge point to recharge.

Shell is working to meet the charging needs of EV drivers at home, at work and on the road.

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