Shell International press release 16 October 1997The Royal Dutch/Shell Group is to establish a fifth core business by investing more than half a billion US dollars over the next five years in Renewables.
The new business organisation, to be called Shell International Renewables (SIR), will bring together the Group's current activities in solar, biomass and forestry.
The world market for solar energy is currently about US$ 1 billion annually, and SIR will use the Group's existing experience in solar to expand its commercial operations with the aim of capturing a 10% share of this rapidly expanding market before 2005. Earlier this month, Shell Nederland opened a new solar cell manufacturing line at its Helmond factory in the Netherlands, and additional plants will also be established world wide.
SIR will expand the existing tree plantation business and also apply its expertise in this area to the development of biomass power generation activities. SIR believes that biomass, which is already an established source of energy in some parts of the world, will become increasingly competitive for power generation as conversion technologies improve and wood becomes available from sustainable plantations.
Investment opportunities in wind power and other renewable energy sources are also being appraised.
SIR will sit alongside the existing business sectors which comprise exploration and production, oil products, chemicals and gas and coal.