How is Shell building its power portfolio in emerging markets?

Shell’s Emerging Markets Power (EMP) business focuses on Africa and Southeast Asia. Our approach is to build an integrated sustainable power business in emerging markets, helping customers access electricity from cleaner sources. This includes decentralized systems such as mini-grids and solar home systems.

Our approach addresses two gaps in the emerging power markets – improving the reliability of power to on-grid customers and providing first-time power to off-grid customers and communities. We are seeking to invest in companies, technologies, and business models that show real potential to be developed on a larger scale and which could form part of an interconnected power system. The efforts of this business contribute to Shell’s Powering Progress strategy to reduce emissions from the products we sell our customers.

To date, the EMP team has invested in seven companies that specialize in solar home systems, mini-grids, and rooftop solar, as well as aspects that support power provision to customers, such as smart metering and debt financing. We are also looking to develop large-scale power projects in key markets.

The impact of reliable power

Today, around 800 million people have no access to electricity at all, and hundreds of million more have an unreliable power supply. With the bulk of electricity demand growth being projected to be in emerging markets, customers today are spending large portions of their income on polluting off-grid solutions. The dual challenge of providing more and cleaner energy solutions is one Shell is looking to address. By 2030, we aspire to provide reliable electricity to 100 million people in Africa and emerging Asia, who do not have it today.

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