Offshore wind, hydrogen part of Shell’s £25 billion UK investment plan

Shell plans to invest up to £25 billion (approximately €30 billion) in the UK energy system over the next ten years, with offshore wind being one of the main areas the oil and gas giant has set its sights on in the UK.

The company said via a social media post it planned to pour more than 75 per cent of the total investment in the UK into low and zero-carbon products and services, including offshore wind, hydrogen and electric mobility.

“These investments, subject to board approval, aim to propel the UK closer to net zero and help to ensure security of supply whilst stimulating economic growth and jobs”, Shell said.

In November last year, Shell and RWE unveiled plans to explore the possibilities of establishing integrated projects for the production of green hydrogen using offshore wind power on a gigawatt scale in the industrial regions in the north-east of England such as Teesside and/or Humberside.

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Shell has already entered the UK offshore wind market, where it was awarded seabed rights to develop three new offshore wind projects in Scotland together with ScottishPower. The three projects, selected by Crown Estate Scotland in January, have a combined capacity of 7 GW.

At the beginning of this month, the two partners announced they would invest a total of £75 million (approx. €90 million) to help the supply chain and businesses support the growth of the offshore wind industry in Scotland.

Back in 2020, Shell Energy Europe signed a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SSE Renewables and Equinor to offtake 20 per cent power from the Dogger Bank A & B wind farm. In terms of installed generation capacity, this translates to 480 MW of the total 2.4 GW to be installed in the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

Shell is also increasingly involved in offshore wind development outside the UK and has made headlines with its projects worldwide over the past year.

In the US, the company is behind the Mayflower Wind project in Massachusetts, together with Ocean Winds. The first 804 MW of the project was procured by the state in 2020 and in December last year Massachusetts selected further 400 MW of the Mayflower Wind project in its latest solicitation round.

In a joint venture with EDF Renewables, Shell has also secured an offshore wind lease in the New York Bight through the biggest US offshore wind auction held so far.

In Brazil, the company aims to install up to 17 GW of offshore wind capacity across six areas and has recently applied for environmental investigation licences for the six projects with the country’s Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA). 

The company’s floating wind project in South Korea, developed in partnership with CoensHexicon, is also moving forward after recently being cleared for its total capacity of 1.3 GW.

In connection with this project, Shell has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with power generation company Korea Southern Power Co., Ltd (KOSPO) to explore collaboration opportunities that could include, among other things, potential business opportunities in renewable-based hydrogen energy.