Reducing emissions from transport
Transport accounts for almost 30% of the world’s energy use and around 25% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. To help people and companies switch to cleaner modes of transport, we are investing in lower-carbon options – from electric-vehicle charging points and e-Mobility products to fuels like hydrogen and biofuels.
Biofuels are a renewable energy source, made from organic matter or waste, which can significantly reduce CO2 emissions from transport.
Biofuels are blended with other fuels such as petrol and diesel. They can help decarbonise the aviation, marine and heavy-duty road transport sectors.
The Raízen joint venture (Shell interest 50%, not Shell-operated) in Brazil is one of the world’s largest biofuel producers, with one of the lowest-CO2 biofuels available today. In 2020, Raízen produced around 2.5 billion litres of ethanol and around 4.4 million tonnes of sugar from sugar cane. In 2015, Raízen opened its first cellulosic ethanol plant at its Costa Pinto mill in Brazil. This produced almost 25 million litres in 2020.
In 2020, around 9.5 billion litres of biofuels went into Shell’s petrol and diesel worldwide, which includes Raízen sales.
Turning waste into fuel
Most biofuels are produced from agricultural crops, such as corn, sugar cane, or vegetable oil. We are exploring ways to use agricultural or animal waste, inedible crops, and waste wood to produce biofuels.
For example, we produce renewable natural gas, also known as biogas, from food waste, agricultural residues or manure. It can be used instead of natural gas in vehicles and shipping to reduce CO2 emissions by between 50% and 100% compared with fossil fuels.
We also have agreements with companies in Europe and North America to supply sustainable aviation fuel. In 2020, we extended our operations into air cargo by agreeing to supply online retailer Amazon with blended sustainable aviation fuel for its air cargo fleet.
We continue to invest in new ways to produce advanced biofuels from sustainable raw materials. These include waste and cellulosic biomass from non-food plants at our demonstration plant in India and investments in biofuel start-ups, such as FORGE Hydrocarbons, Canada.
The production of some biofuel feedstocks is considered higher risk for human rights, biodiversity or the release of carbon into the atmosphere. To help mitigate these risks, all the palm oil, sugar cane and South American soy feedstock we purchase is certified as sustainable by credible sustainability standards like the Round Table on Responsible Soy, the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil and Bonsucro.
Visit www.shell.com/biofuels for more on our activities in biofuels.
Shell is exploring how best to meet the needs of electric-vehicle drivers – at home, at work or on the road. We are expanding our charging network worldwide and our range of specialised fluids for electric vehicles.
We operate more than 60,000 electric-vehicle charging points and aim to increase this to around 500,000 by 2025. This includes more than 1,000 charging points at Shell forecourts and new locations as well as operated charge points that are owned by individual consumers and business customers.
Shell-owned NewMotion is helping Alphabet, the world’s fourth-largest fleet operator, move to e-vehicles by using the same Shell fleet cards to buy fuel and recharge their vehicles in the UK. Drivers can plan their next charging stop in real-time at more than 3,000 charging points and track their fuel and electricity use in a single invoice.
Electric vehicles require specially developed fluids and lubricants. The Shell e-fluids range covers the specialised needs of battery-electric and fuel-cell electric passenger and commercial vehicles.
We develop these fluids and greases, in collaboration with our customers, which include leading automotive manufacturers and Formula E racing teams. In 2020, we developed a specialised transmission fluid for Mahindra Racing’s Formula E car to enhance transmission efficiency and the car’s performance on the racetrack.
In 2020, we also formed a strategic alliance with Kreisel Electric, an Austrian technology company, to offer a combined battery and thermal management fluid solution for electric vehicles. The solution controls the temperature of each battery cell individually. This stabilises the cells and improves battery performance and safety when fast charging.
Learn more about e-mobility at www.shell.com/electric-vehicle-charging
Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that can play a significant role in the transition to a low-carbon world.
It has great potential to help meet growing demand for cleaner transport. When driven, hydrogen vehicles do not emit carbon dioxide, only water vapour. If the hydrogen is produced by electrolysis using renewable energy to split water into pure hydrogen and oxygen, the fuel is virtually emission-free. This is known as green hydrogen.
Shell is helping to build the infrastructure that will be needed if hydrogen is to fulfil its potential.
Making hydrogen from renewable energy
Nearly all hydrogen today is produced through fossil-fuel reforming, a process that creates a reaction between natural gas and steam. Shell is also assessing the feasibility of using hydrogen produced by electrolysis on a large scale for our own facilities as a starting point, then rolling it out with our customers. We are working with ITM Power to build a 10-megawatt electrolyser at our Rheinland refinery in Germany. The electrolyser, expected to be completed in 2021, is designed to produce up to 1,300 tonnes of green hydrogen a year.
We are also exploring several integrated hydrogen projects including electrolysers for industrial and mobility demand in China, Germany and the Netherlands, to help demonstrate that it is possible to produce large-scale green hydrogen using renewable energy.
In 2020, we announced one of the largest green hydrogen projects in Europe, NortH2, in a consortium with Gasunie, Groningen Seaports, Equinor and RWE. The project aims to build large wind farms in the North Sea to generate sufficient renewable energy for green hydrogen production for a range of industrial customers.
Green hydrogen is an important part of the Dutch government's National Climate Agreement, which contains agreements with sectors on what they will do to help achieve the Netherlands’ climate goals, and the European Green Deal, the plan to make the European Union's economy sustainable.
Building our refuelling network
We are helping to build networks of hydrogen refuelling stations in Europe and North America. We are part of several initiatives to encourage the use of hydrogen vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in transport.
In Germany, through our participation in the H2 Mobility Germany joint venture, we are working with the government and partners to develop a national network of 100 hydrogen refuelling stations by 2021. At the end of 2020, 87 stations were open, 37 at Shell retail sites.
In the UK, we are working with ITM Power, a company specialising in electrolysers, to produce hydrogen fuel from renewable energy at Shell retail sites in England. Three of the sites began producing and selling green hydrogen in 2020.
In the USA in 2020, the California Energy Commission awarded Shell a $40.8 million grant to install hydrogen refuelling equipment at 48 Shell retail stations and to upgrade three existing Shell hydrogen stations. At the end of 2020, we operated nine hydrogen refuelling stations in California.
We also opened two hydrogen refuelling stations in Canada and the first of three planned stations in the Netherlands.
In 2020, we announced a collaboration with Daimler Truck AG, IVECO, OMV and the Volvo Group to support the roll-out of hydrogen trucks in Europe, which will be needed to meet the EU's ambition of net-zero emissions by 2050. Read more about the H2Accelerate collaboration at www.shell.com/h2-accelerate-new-collaboration-for-zero-emission-hydrogen-trucking
Learn more about how we are developing and using hydrogen to reduce GHG emissions at www.shell.com/hydrogen
Shell V-Power petrol and diesel and Shell Helix engine oil increase efficiency by helping to keep engines running smoothly and reducing friction and wear. These products are used in millions of vehicle engines worldwide every day.
Shell PurePlus Technology converts natural gas into a pure base oil – which can form up to 90% of a finished motor oil – to improve and protect an engine’s performance. For example, the technology is used in the Shell Helix 0W range of lubricants and can help to reduce car carbon dioxide emissions by up to 4% compared with traditional lubricants.
For heavy-duty vehicles, Shell Rimula engine lubricants help heavy-duty diesel engines reduce friction to improve fuel economy and therefore reduce CO2 emissions.
Read more about our fuels and lubricants at www.shell.com/motorist
Reducing fuel consumption in shipping
We have developed a software tool for our marine customers that determines the best position for a ship’s hull in the water, at any speed and in any weather conditions, to minimise fuel use and emissions.
In 2020, we deployed the software on 62 Shell-operated vessels, potentially reducing each ship’s fuel use and associated emissions by up to 7%. We have now licensed the software, making it available to the wider industry.
Discover more about our marine solutions at www.shell.com/marine
Reducing data centre energy use
We have worked with technology firm Asperitas to develop an innovative approach which could boost energy efficiency in data centres by up to 45%. This involves immersing data servers in a specialised Shell cooling fluid made from natural gas, reducing the need for air cooling equipment. Data centres use large amounts of electricity to power equipment that cools the air around the servers that process the data.