Shell aims to beat power utilities at their own game

LONDON (Reuters) by Ron Bousso & Susanna Twidale – Royal Dutch Shell wants to build a power business more profitable than the competitive sector’s existing players, banking on its global scale and oil and gas income to maximize on the transition to cleaner energy. Demand for electricity is set to soar as Asian economies grow and electric vehicles replace petrol cars. Shell is under pressure to shed the Oil Majors’ century-old business model and position itself for a future with lower use of fossil fuels. Shell’s rivals such as France’s Total and Italy’s Eni are also expanding their power businesses. But Shell’s plans are by far the most ambitious with the largest planned spending on power. Established power utilities have suffered in recent years as their decades-old model of centralized, predictable energy production and consumption has given way to a more flexible energy system where smaller, nimbler retail challenger brands can often undercut their prices. Technologies such as home-installed solar panels, battery storage and electric car charging stations are likely to reshape the sector further. Shell plans to boost spending on its nascent power division to $2 to $3 billion per year by 2025, nearly 10% of its overall spending,… continue reading

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