13 Mar 2019, 14:17
Rachel Waldholz

Shell says Sonnen purchase part of effort to become world’s largest power company


Oil major Shell plans to transform itself into “the largest electricity power company in the world” by the early 2030s, and the recent purchase of German battery pioneer Sonnen is part of that plan, Maarten Wetselaar, director of Shell’s new energies unit, told Bloomberg’s Alix Steel (Watch full video in English here). “Electrification is the biggest trend in energy in the coming 10 to 15 years, because it is by far the easiest way to decarbonise energy usage,” Wetselaar said, adding that Shell wants to be able to provide power customers with a “total package” to manage their power needs. That could include solar panels, batteries, software to optimize energy usage, and electric car charging infrastructure. Shell is investing in companies that provide direct services to customers, including German start-up Sonnen, which allows customers to generate and control their electricity use. Wetselaar said Shell then plans to expand into renewable generation, primarily wind and solar. “We are not interested in the power business because we like what we saw in the last 20 years,” Wetselaar said. “We are interested because we think we like what we see in the next 20 years, when this business is becoming a lot more complex.”

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