Europe’s largest oil company is to establish a separate division to invest in renewable and low-carbon power.
Ben van Beurden of Shell
Anglo-Dutch group Shell’s New Energies division will have an initial capital investment of $1.7bn and brings together its existing hydrogen, biofuels and electrical activities but will also be used as a base for a new drive into wind power, according to an internal announcement to company staff.

The new division will have an initial annual capital expenditure of $200m and will be run alongside the Integrated Gas division under executive board member Maarten Wetselaar.

Reuters reports that group chief executive, Ben van Beurden, told a company meeting in London last week, “The big challenge, both for society and for a company like Shell is how to provide much more energy, while at the same time significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”

French equivalent Total already has its own New Energies division and boasts of being the world’s second-ranked solar energy operator through its affiliate SunPower, bought for £800m in 2011.

Shell recently announced it was bidding in a partnership to build two windfarms off the Dutch coast that will be big enough to power 825,000 households.