Lower-carbon energy

New Energies – investments, acquisitions and ventures

New Energies – investments, acquisitions and ventures from 2001 to 2018 (infographic)

Our experience, partnerships and technical know-how can help find new ways to provide energy that people need and want – and do this responsibly to help shape a more sustainable energy future.

Natural gas will play a key role in the transition to a lower-carbon global energy system over the next few decades. It is likely to be the cleanest source of energy for parts of the economy where it is hard to reduce emissions, such as heavy-duty transport and the steel and cement industries. When used instead of higher-carbon fuels such as coal and diesel for generators, it can help to meet increasing demand while lowering greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

Our New Energies business, established in 2016, is also strengthening the way we approach lower-carbon alternatives through its focus on new fuels and power.

Transport accounts for nearly 30% of the world’s total energy use and around a quarter of global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This means that a range of different fuels and vehicle technologies will be required to meet the growing demand for mobility, while reducing emissions. Shell is investing in a range of lower-carbon energies including biofuels, hydrogen for transport, and charging for electric vehicles. 

We believe that low-carbon biofuels will continue to play a valuable part in reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector in the coming decades, provided their production is managed in a responsible way.

Hydrogen also has the potential to be an important low-carbon transport fuel. Hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles produce no greenhouse gases from the exhaust pipe – the only emission is water vapour.

Electric mobility will also help meet growing demand for transport in a lower-carbon world. And Shell is exploring how best to serve an increasing number of electric vehicle drivers, both in and beyond our service stations.

Reducing emissions is not just about developing new technologies. It is also about making established technologies more efficient. In fact, according to the International Energy Agency's Perspectives for the Energy Transition: The Role of Energy Efficiency report, energy efficiency can deliver up to 35% of what is needed by 2050 to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. At Shell, we are continuing to develop a range of lubricants and other products which, because they provide greater energy efficiency, can reduce our customers’ CO2 emissions.

Electricity, now the fastest growing part of the global energy system, is a crucial element in the ongoing transition to a lower-carbon world. We aim to make electricity a significant business for Shell, one that in the future could sit alongside oil, gas and chemicals. This means being involved at almost every stage of the process, from generating electricity, to buying and selling it, to supplying it directly to customers. Our approach to providing electricity involves developing lower-carbon energy sources, such as wind and solar, along with natural gas.

Shell aims to help make electricity available to more people. Having a reliable supply of energy is critical to economic and social development but, globally, around 1 billion people are without access to electricity. In 2018, we outlined our new ambition: to bring a reliable electricity supply to 100 million people in the developing world by 2030. We continue to work on developing a longer-term strategy to achieve this ambition.