Solar and wind technologies

Solar and wind power are playing a growing part in meeting global energy demand.

Solar panels are installed on the rooftop of a Shell service station in Thailand (photo)

Solar panels are installed on the rooftop of a Shell service station in Thailand.

We expect an emerging low-carbon energy system to include traditional fuels such as oil and natural gas alongside renewable energy and carbon capture and storage.

Solar power

Shell is exploring the possibilities offered by solar power and continues to install the technology at facilities to lower carbon intensity while also reducing operating cost.

In Canada and Gabon, for example, we have used solar photovoltaic (PV), wind turbines and batteries in remote, off-grid well sites to power monitoring and control systems, so avoiding the need for diesel generators.

At some offshore platforms in the North Sea, we use solar PV and batteries to provide 100% renewable power generation, cutting costs, and reducing refuelling trips to the platforms.

We use small-scale solar power systems in some retail stations. In Thailand, for example, we fitted two Shell retail stations and the Shell office in Bangkok with solar panels. In pilot projects in Pakistan, solar power is also helping oil product storage facilities continue to operate despite outages in the local power grid.

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO, Shell interest 34%) is constructing a solar thermal steam plant called Project Miraah. Once completed in 2020, Miraah will be the world’s largest solar thermal steam plant, providing about a third of the Amal oil field’s steam requirements. It will potentially be capable of producing up to1 gigawatt of thermal energy. This solar technology, developed by GlassPoint with investment from Shell Technology Ventures (STV), will replace gas-fired steam generation and free the gas for other uses, to reduce the  intensity of the oil production.

Wind power

In 2001, Shell entered the onshore wind business in the USA. We have interests in six operational wind power projects in North America and one in Europe. At the end of 2016, our share of the energy capacity from these projects was about 420 megawatts (MW).

In late 2016, a consortium of Shell, Dutch energy company Eneco, Dutch contracting company Van Oord and Mitsubishi’s power-producing subsidiary Diamond Generating Europe, won a tender to construct and operate two wind farms in the Borssele Wind Farm Zone off the coast of the Netherlands. These are designed to have a capacity of 680MW, enough to power 825,000 Dutch homes.

Our Shell Energy Europe marketing and trading organisation is planning to buy half the power generated from this windfarm. Shell also committed to buy 100% of the power generated from the offshore wind farm Egmond aan Zee (OWEZ), the Netherlands’ first large-scale offshore wind farm. From 2017, Shell will take the power generated from the wind farm and offer it to customers in Europe. In 2016, Shell Energy North America managed more than 9,500MW of power, with over one third of that power produced by renewable methods. 

is also investing in wind-related technologies, including the UK company Kite Power Systems (KPS). Through our GameChanger programme, Shell and KPS have worked to develop KPS’s high-altitude wind power generation technology, which uses two kites tethered to a spool and flying in figure eights to generate electricity.

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