| LONDON, March 17
LONDON, March 17 Oil Major Royal Dutch Shell Plc
(RDSa.L) doesn't plan to make any more large investments in wind
and solar energy in the future and does not expect hydrogen to
play an important role in energy supply for some time.
"We do not expect material amounts of investment in those
areas going forward," Linda Cook, head of Shell's gas and power
unit told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.
"They continue to struggle to compete with the other
investment opportunities we have in our portfolio," Cook said of
solar and wind.
Shell's future involvement in renewables will be principally
limited to biofuels, which the world's second-largest non-
government-controlled oil company by market value believes is a
better fit with its core oil and gas operations.
In the past year, the company said it was refocusing its
wind business on the U.S. as it pulled out of European projects.
Shell has around 550 megawatts of wind power capacity but
does not break out figures for investment in each renewable
From 1999-2006 Shell invested around $1.25 billion in green
energy, according to Reuters analysis of Shell's statements.
Wind played a large part of that.
One renewables analyst said the decision could reflect the
$100/bbl drop in oil prices since July which has eased concerns
about energy supply and the economic crisis which has pushed
environmental concerns down the agenda.
"There may not be any political pressure on them to invest
in renewables at this particular stage," the analyst, who asked
not to be named, said.
The decision may anger environmental groups who, in recent
years, have put pressure on Shell over its major investments in
Canada's oil sands, an energy and water intensive business which
involves squeezing crude from bitumen-soaked soil.
While Shell's advertising focuses on its involvement in
renewable energy, only around 1 percent of its investments go to
these energy sources.
(Additional reporting by Michael Szabo; Editing by Rupert