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Bloomberg: Nuclear, Biofuel, Oil Sands Needed to Cut Emissions, Shell Says

By Mathew Carr

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) — Governments must allow energy companies to produce fuels from all sources as lawmakers find the best solution to curb emissions blamed for climate change, a Royal Dutch Shell Plc executive said.

Wind farms are expensive, nuclear stations have difficulty dealing with waste, biofuels boost food prices and oil sands produce even higher emissions than oil, James Smith, chairman of Shell’s U.K. unit, said yesterday in Oxford, England.

“Energy demand is going to continue to accelerate,” Smith told a climate debate held by the Association of Masters of Business Administration, an educational and networking group. If lawmakers reject some energy sources, “we won’t get anything left.”

The United Nations said in a report published last month the global average income per person may jump to $17,196 in 2030 from $9,253 in 2004, increasing demand for goods, services and energy. The world’s population may rise 21 percent through 2030 to 8 billion, compared with 2007.

“The cost of fuel is going to get heavier,” Smith said. “You have to be around the policy table or you may find yourself on the menu.”

A key technology will be carbon capture and storage, systems to pipe carbon dioxide into underground sites and oil fields, to avoid venting the gas into the atmosphere, said Smith, who was head of technology, strategy and sustainable development at Shell Chemicals through 2003.

Carbon-capture technology is needed because the world is moving to cleaner energy “a bit later” than it should, Smith said. The technology is “not a big cover up” to allow the continued burning of fossil fuels, he said.

It’s crucial that motor vehicles use less fuel, Smith said. “We need to see the energy efficiency of vehicles doubling. What people need is mobility and what they are buying is self- esteem.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Mathew Carr in London at [email protected]

Last Updated: September 26, 2007 08:08 EDT

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