Oct 3, 2017

Shell Technology Ventures looks to access China’s clean energy market

Jonathan Dyble
2 min
Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it will be entering into the Chinese cleantech market with its venture fund in the aim of searching for profitab...

Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it will be entering into the Chinese cleantech market with its venture fund in the aim of searching for profitable startups in the smart mobility, battery storage and solar power generation sectors.

The move is a notable change from the fund’s traditional oil-based investments, moving more in line with the growing market movement towards new technologies and innovations in the clean energy industry.

Recent examples of Shell’s disruption have included the company investing $53mn into the solar steam generator company, GlassPoint Solar.

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“This is an evolutionary move. It’s very much what Shell and other European majors said they would be doing,” said the Director of Corporate Research at Wood Mackenzie, a specialist research consultancy, when speaking to Green Tech Media.

“All of the European majors have really committed to diversification, to renewables and other clean technologies, and they...identify as energy providers rather than oil and gas players.”

Shell delving into the clean energy markets of China is the latest episode within this ongoing energy revolution, as many large corporations recognise that renewables are the way forward for sector innovation. Further examples of the shift from traditional oil and gas giants include electric-vehicle investments from Statoil and Total.  

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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