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Lloyds List: Windfarms next target for alternative energy arm

Feb 07, 2006
ROYAL Dutch Shell is building a renewable and alternative energy division with investments in biofuels, wind, solar and hydrogen plants, writes Martyn Wingrove.
The Anglo-Dutch oil major has already invested $1bn in developing alternative energies and has become the leading marketer of biofuels.
Its next moves will be in offshore windfarms, where it has several projects ready to move forward and it is also developing new solar technology to take advantage of new markets.
Shell's moves are not new, but its focus has been magnified by the latest drive in the US for developing alternative energies and by the initiatives of its main rival BP.
'We aim to develop at least one alternative energy such as wind, hydrogen of advanced solar technology into a substantial business,' said chief executive Jeroen van der Veer.
'In addition, we continue our efforts to further expand our position as the largest marketer of biofuels, consistent with our long term vision.'
Shell already is a producer of 350 megawatts of electric power from wind farms in the US and Europe so it is about to make a splash in the Asian market.
Last week, it signed a memorandum of understanding with Shenhua Group's subsidiary Guohua Energy to invest in Chinese wind energy projects.
Shell expects to be producing 500 MW by 2007 with new projects, including the Netherlands' first offshore windfarm at Egmond aan Zee, where it has a 50% stake.
Full construction of this 108 MW capacity development will begin in March and Shell expects first power generation by the end of this year.
Shell also has a third stake in one of the world's largest wind farm developments, the London Array offshore project in the Thames Estuary, which could have the capacity to produce 1,000 MW of power.
Wind farm projects in the US are in Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, West Virginia, California and Hawaii.
In the solar sector, Shell is developing the next generation of generators that use non-silicon materials for turning the sun's energy into electricity. It has signed a MoU with glass manufacturer Saint Gobain to further explore this technology and consider a joint venture.
Shell as a supplier of biofuels blends some of its petroleum with ethanol in some markets, especially the US, France and the Netherlands.
It has partnered Iogen to develop a business in Canada, plus Choren and Volkswagen to build one in Germany.

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