Biofuels, CCS to head Shell renewables development

17 March 2009 12:07  [Source: ICIS news]

Biofuels pritority for Shell renewablesLONDON (ICIS news)--Biofuels and carbon capture storage (CCS) will be the main thrust of Shell's development in renewables, with wind and solar power struggling to compete with other energy sources, it said on Tuesday.

Shell's downstream director Mark Williams said the company, already the world’s largest biofuels buyer and blender, was considering options in integrated upstream biofuels production and looking hard at R&D into next-generation biofuels.

Second-generation biofuels are produced from non-food sources and would not compete for land with food production – a criticism often levelled at the modern biofuels industry.  

“Biofuels is closest to what we already do,” said Williams at the Anglo-Dutch energy giant's annual strategy update. “Wind and Solar have struggled to compete even with substantial subsidies.”

The company has predicted that it would take another 5-10 years of developmental work into next-generation biofuels before the industry became commercially viable.

Shell said that carbon capture storage was one of the more interesting options in renewables. Last year it started building a CCS demonstration project in Alberta, Canada, next to its refinery.

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By: Mark Watts
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