Shell previously had plans to enter the consumer market with electricity and gas. In 2019, an attempt was made to acquire the energy company Eneco. That failed, but now Shell will continue to provide energy directly to customers in our country, similar to Great Britain and Germany.
The company promises to offer Dutch customers only green electricity generated in Holland. Shell will buy that electricity, but it also wants to generate it as much as possible on its own. The company already does so in the North Sea (the Borssele III & IV wind farm and Hollandse Kust Noord) and in Heerenveen-South. Shell also started building a new solar park in Saas van Gent at the end of March this year.
competition for space
From the end of this year, Shell will therefore be in the long list of providers where you can enter into an energy contract. It’s a competitive market, but I think there’s room for us,” said Barbara van de Berg of Shell Energy.
Energy economics professor Michael Mulder of the University of Groningen is critical. More solar and wind farms must be built to meet the growing demand. “It’s competing for space,” he says.
Can Shell do it cheaper?
According to him, there is hardly any space on the floor for big parties like Shell. Local solar or wind farm cooperatives from big parties like Shell often don’t want to run these farms. “They want the benefits themselves, so it’s hard for companies like Shell and Vattenfall to build a park in those places. Big companies are forced to go out to sea.”
According to Mulder, there is still enough room there. “The question is whether Shell can do it cheaper. But as a large company, Shell has an advantage over many smaller companies.”
Green ambitions reach
The ambition to produce more in the Netherlands appears to be a change of strategy compared to what Shell said in February when presenting the annual figures.
“We are not going to be a major producer of renewable energy,” said Ben van Beurden, chairman at the time. “We want to make money from the end user side. The value for us is not in having electricity production, but in opening up the market for it.”
Shell now says through a spokesperson that its ambitions to grow further with, among other things, the growth of offshore wind production in the past six months. “A large space has been created.”
The oil giant believes it has a good market opportunity because it already serves many customers down the road. For example, the company wants to offer electric drivers who charge Shell a discount on electricity and gas at home, or offer the charging station at home at a cheaper rate if all the electricity and gas are purchased from Shell.
The company does not necessarily have to become the largest supplier of energy, but it does want to become a “significant player”. It takes time for that. “We have a long breath.”
In May, a judge forced Shell to significantly reduce its carbon dioxide emissions, in a case brought by Milieudefensie. Shell resumed. Shell says the decision has nothing to do with the move to introduce green electricity.
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