Our approach to providing electricity focuses on meeting the needs of our commercial, industrial and residential customers.
This is bolstered by our activities in power generation, trading and supply, as well as our ability to optimise supply and demand. We are also working to develop low-carbon energy sources such as wind and solar, along with natural gas.
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, designed to have a capacity of more than 680MW hours a year, enough to power approximately 825,000 Dutch households.
Our previous 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.
Our approach will include developing solar projects aligned with customer needs. We believe the number of customers choosing solar power will continue to grow. We are working to help meet demand and have, for example, invested in the Singapore-based Sunseap Group.
In 2018 we signed an agreement to acquire an interest in Silicon Ranch Corporation, a leading US developer, owner and operator of solar assets.
At the same time, we are looking to expand the deployment of solar photovoltaic in our own operations. In California in the USA, for instance, we have delivered a photovoltaic project to provide on-site solar power to the Stockton fuels distribution terminal.
This project is expected to produce more than 300,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) each year, reducing the terminal’s electricity costs. Shell is also developing a solar power plant at its Moerdijk chemicals site, with construction planned to begin in 2018. It will provide an approximate peak capacity of 20MW of renewable power.
We are also growing our power trading and marketing business. In the USA, we are already 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.
In the UK, we have been trading power for a number of years and, from 2018, we will start supplying power to industrial and residential customers.
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.
As part of our energy access activities, in 2017, we invested in leading off-grid solar company SolarNow, which sells and installs solar systems and electrical appliances in Uganda and Kenya.
We also invested in SteamaCo, a technology company which remotely operates hundreds of distributed energy systems across Africa.
In early 2018, we jointly invested in Husk Power Systems, a leading rural distributed utility company operating mini-grids in Asia and Africa.