Shell striving to become world’s top power company

Fuel pumps stand at a Royal Dutch Shell Plc gas station in Jeffersonville, Indiana, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.  Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
Fuel pumps stand at a Royal Dutch Shell Plc gas station in Jeffersonville, Indiana, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Royal Dutch Shell plans to become the world’s biggest power company despite electricity’s historically narrow margins.

The world’s second-largest oil explorer by market value is spending up to $2 billion a year on its new energies division, mainly to grow in a power sector it envisions delivering 8-12% annual returns, according to Maarten Wetselaar, director of Shell’s integrated gas new energies unit.

“We believe we can be the largest electricity power company in the world in the early 2030s,” Wetselaar said.

“We are not interested in the power business because we like what we saw in the last 20 years.

“We are interested because we think we like what we see in the next 20 years.”

European oil producers such as Shell, BP and Equinor face greater regulatory and investor pressure to adopt clean energy than American rivals ExxonMobil and Chevron.

For Shell, the business is still in an experimental phase, Wetselaar said.

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