In what must surely be a sign of the End Times, the Global Wind Energy Council announced last week that oil and gas megalith Shell has joined as a board-level member as the company looks to expand its wind business as part of its Shell New Energies Strategy.
In a move that was likely unthinkable only two decades ago, Royal Dutch Shell, better known as Shell, the British and Dutch oil and gas supermajor, has joined the Global Wind Energy Council. Shell is said to also be expanding its wind business as part of its Shell New Energies Strategy and will take part in the Council’s recently announced Offshore Taskforce which will work to accelerate development of offshore wind technology in non-European markets such as Asia and North America.
“We are pleased to join GWEC and their Offshore Taskforce to help accelerate the development of offshore wind, an important part of Shell’s growing New Energies portfolio,” said Dorine Bosman, VP Shell Wind Development. “We look forward to working with Ben and his team and the other GWEC members.”
This is by no means the first time Shell has stepped into renewable energy waters, and for the past year or so has been making significant strides towards growing out its New Energies business and supporting the industry as a whole. Only last month Shell launched the Shell GameChanger Accelerator in partnership with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) — another accelerator with the intention of discovering and advancing emerging clean energy technologies.
Shell’s recent activity stems from its November 2017 decision to commit to cutting the net carbon footprint of its energy products by around half by 2050, with an interim step of 20% by 2035. At the same time, Shell doubled the funds available for its New Energy division — a move which immediately led to several high-profile acquisitions and investments, including the January 2018 acquisition of US-based solar firm Silicon Ranch Corporation. Shell is also one of several owners of the 731.5 megawatts (MW) Borssele III/IV wind farms set to be constructed in the Dutch North Sea which reached financial close in August.
“We are delighted to have Shell join GWEC’s board,” said Ben Backwell, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council. “Shell’s experience across energy markets in many geographies and deep knowledge of technology development and engineering will bring a valuable new perspective to our work in accelerating the growth of the wind industry across the world.”