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Shell’s North America division has extended a credit line and a revolving loan facility to Inspire Energy Holdings LLC, expanding the multinational oil company’s clean energy dealings, according to a new report by Bloomberg.
The California-based company, which specializes in clean power, smart homes, and energy management, did not reveal the terms of the deal.
This is not Shell’s first venture in renewable energy. Last month, the company bought a 44 percent stake in Silicon Ranch Corp., which runs roughly 100 solar plants across the United States. A second agreement also gives Shell an opportunity to increase its stake in Silicon Ranch after the year 2021. In December, the Anglo-Dutch company bought First Utility, a British power provider—a further diversification from its core oil and gas business.
The Inspire deal is “further confirmation that it is taking the risks to long-term oil demand seriously amid accelerating electrification of the transport industry and emerging policy pressures to de-carbonize global energy,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s Will Hares said in an interview.
Inspire allows homeowners clean energy services that can be managed via a mobile application.
“The average American homeowner burns 8,000 pounds of coal annually,” Patrick Maloney, Inspire’s founder and chief executive officer, told Bloomberg. “If we could give them a simple solution to avoid that, they would take it.”
Last year, Shell said it would increase its annual investments in clean energy projects to $1 billion to $2 billion until 2020. While this is a drop in the bucket when compared with its overall annual capex plans for that same period, which total between $25 and $30 billion, the string of recent renewables investments is a clear sign that Shell is willing to move toward clean energy on its own, instead of waiting to be dragged kicking and screaming.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…