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30 Sep 2020, 13:18
Sören Amelang

Shell turns German operations into test case for global sustainability transformation

Clean Energy Wire

Shell plans to make Germany a test case in its global ambition to become a net-zero emission company. The British-Dutch oil major, one of the world's largest companies by revenues, plans to put particular emphasis on hydrogen, wind power and electric mobility. The company said in a press release that it wanted to become "the country's leading provider of green hydrogen for industrial and transport clients" and "participate in renewable energy production with offshore wind or combined offshore wind/hydrogen production." The company is planning to build 1,000 fast charging stations for electric vehicles at its petrol stations by 2030. Shell said it also planned to lower its own CO2 emissions and those generated by using its products by more than one-third or compensate them. "This corresponds to 30 million tonnes per year, equivalent to around one-tenth of the federal government's 2030 CO2 emissions reduction target."

"As a key market for the Shell group, the transformation of the business in Germany is crucial to Shell's ambition to become a net-zero emission energy company by 2050 or earlier," said board member Huibert Vigeveno. The head of Shell's operations in Germany, Fabian Ziegler, said Shell in Germany wants to lead the way on the issue of net-zero emissions for the entire Shell group. "This also means that we want to invest. To combine our many years of know-how with new approaches, we are also looking at start-ups," he added. Ziegler told business daily Handelsblatt that the company wanted to realise at least three electrolyser projects to make green hydrogen at a scale of 100 megawatts each "in the next few years".

In early 2019, Shell purchased German battery pioneer Sonnen, one of the country's most prominent energy transition start-ups, and said it planned to transform itself into "the largest electricity power company in the world" by the early 2030s. The move has caused consternation for German utilities as they face a new deep-pocketed rival.

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