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LONDON — One major oil company is investing heavily in new energy platforms as the fuels industry continues to evolve.
Royal Dutch Shell plc will spend as much as $1 billion a year on its New Energies division as renewable power and electric cars gain in popularity with consumers, according to The Boston Globe.
"In some parts of the world we are beginning to see battery electric cars starting to gain consumer acceptance" while wind and solar costs are falling fast, Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden said in a speech in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 10.
"All of this is good news for the world and must accelerate," while still offering opportunities for producers of fossil fuels, he added.
According to the report, Shell sees opportunities in hydrogen fuel-cells, liquefied natural gas, and next-generation biofuels for air travel, shipping and heavy freight.
Van Beurden spoke at the World Petroleum Congress, a gathering of ministers and chief executives from some of the largest oil producers, at a time when the accelerating shift to clean energy is raising questions about their long-term business models.
While other attendees explained that oil and gas will remain dominant for the next few decades, Van Beurden highlighted the potential for some of the fastest-growing nations to leapfrog straight to a cleaner energy mix.
"When you consider the areas of the world where energy demand is still to expand, like Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, there is a huge opportunity," Van Beurden said. "These are areas that are not, on the whole, locked in to a coal-driven system. There is the potential for them to shift more directly onto a less energy-intensive pathway to development."
There is often too much focus on energy-transition policies in Europe and North America instead of the fast-growing developing world, he added.
Based in the Netherlands, Royal Dutch Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. Houston-based Shell Oil Co. is an affiliate of the company.