Sunday, May 22, 2016

Oil Majors Tread Cautiously Towards Renewables

The Niger Delta of Nigeria has suffered severe damage from gas flaring and oil spills. (Image Credit: Chebyshev 1983 via Wikimedia Commons) Click to Enlarge.
The big oil companies’ on-off affair with renewable energies seems to be back on track.

Recent reports say Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil conglomerate, is to invest $1.7 billion in forming a new company division aimed specifically at developing renewable energy and low carbon power. 

This follows on the heels of an announcement by the  French oil company Total, another of the oil giants, that it is stepping up its investments in clean energy, spending more than $1 bn buying Saft, a major battery manufacturer.  Total has also purchased  a majority share in SunPower,  a leading solar concern.

Even ExxonMobil, for long an organization which cast doubt on the whole science of global warming, has recently announced plans to investigate fuel cell technology in order to build carbon capture and storage facilities and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from power installations. 

Low investments
On the face of it, this is all good news in the battle against climate change.  Emissions from fossils fuels, particularly from oil and coal burning, are a major driver of global warming.

Yet as a proportion of their overall spending, the oil giants’ investments in renewables are still very low, and are dwarfed by their spending on fossil fuel-related activities.

Read more at Oil Majors Tread Cautiously Towards Renewables

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