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Shell may become Oz renewable power retailer

20 Mar 2019 1:57 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

SHELL may move into power retailing in Australia suggesting plans for a “substantial” electricity business at a Bloomberg event in Sydney yesterday, with a focus on renewables as the Dutch oil major sees increasing electrification of the power sector.

The plans are part of its switch to lower carbon energy, though it apparently still sees a future for gas in industry and across the developing world.  

"For us to remain relevant, if we are no good at low-carbon power, we will lose our customer face business. That would be a shame because we are really good at it," global head of gas and new energy Maarten Wetselaar said, according to media reports.  

"It will depend a bit on the opportunity set in Australia and how quickly we want to have all the pieces of the puzzle together, but I'd be very disappointed if we don't have an integrated power business in Australia in the course of a decade, and if we're going to have it, it might as well be substantial." 

"We think there is value to be had on the generation side, the solar farms, wind farms and storage solutions, and the ways with which gas can plug the gaps. 

"You add in the customer side …and trading in the middle…. and you can make value in all three bits and then you make some value by connecting all three," he said.  

He suggested in two decades time houses would be fully electrified for all heating and cooling purposes and said "the provision of electrons" to retail, commercial and industrial customers was part of Shell's longer term strategy.  

Earlier Shell announced it was purchasing Germany's sonnen, a battery company. 

In February at a Melbourne Mining Club speech Shell Australia chair Zoe Yujnovich also announced plans for a 120 megawatt solar plant for its operations.  

"On the drawing board have well-advanced plans for our first solar project − a 120-megawatt solar plant consisting of about 400,000 solar panels," she said. 

Sonnen, meanwhile, put Germany's largest virtual battery into operation, based on a network of home electricity storage systems, though what the oiler paid was not disclosed. 

 Source: Energy News Bulletin

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