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UK: Shell angers campaigners with renewables shift to biofuels

Date: 18 Mar 2009

Photo of oil pipeline

Royal Dutch Shell has said that it is to reduce future investment in solar and wind power to focus its renewable energy activity more on biofuels. The company has said that it is pursuing its priority of giving best returns to shareholders, and returns on other alternatives, even with considerable public subsidy, are not sufficient.

The company said that biofuels remained attractive, because they played to the company's existing strengths in terms of its processing and distribution network. The company has invested approaching $2bn in alternative energy research in the last five years - which remains a fraction of its commitments to fossil fuel based development.

Greenpeace UK said that the move had put Shell back amongst the ranks of "the dirtiest, most regressive corporations in the world" that was ignoring the crucial role the development of renewables would play in combatting climate change.

In a separate move, Paul Golby, CEO of E.ON UK told the government that the more rapid development of carbon capture technologies to reflect the reality of future fossil fuel use was essential. Without such technology, he said, it would be "game over".


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