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In the recent Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in London the British Prime Minister David Cameron made a plea to private sector investors to help with renewable power in the country. He described renewables as the “fastest growing energy source on the planet,” and believes that “the UK’s biggest opportunity is the North Sea.”
Unfortunately Shell has announced that they will not be one of the investors in Mr Cameron’s North Sea wind revolution. Despite the fact that Shell is heavily invested in onshore wind farms in the US, where it controls nearly 1 gigawatt of wind power, Simon Henry, the finance director, has stated that they cannot justify investment in offshore windfarms when so many other energy technologies exist which offer better profit margins.
In his meeting Cameron said that the oil and gas companies have done so well in the past due to the “ingenuity of the private sector, “ and that the government and private businesses could once again work together to make the UK the world leader in wind power.
Whilst Shell has turned down the opportunity to invest in UK offshore wind this time, they said that they will keep an eye on the sector. They also sent a warning to Cameron’s government to be careful with investing large amounts of public subsidies into renewable energy, because a lot of the markets are dominated by Asian manufacturers and all the money would just go to them, not British companies.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com