Australian news, and some related international items

Shell’s solar plant plans – with gas as backup

Shell plans Australian solar plants that can switch to gas The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is looking to invest in Australian solar plants that can switch to gas when needed. THE AUSTRALIAN, , 4 Feb 17

 Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell is looking to invest in Australian solar plants that can switch to gas when needed to deliver baseload power supply as debate rages over renewable energy security in the wake of South Australia’s ­crippling power outages.

Shell, which is Australia’s biggest LNG exporter and one of the world’s largest oil companies, has revealed that Australia was one of three global locations, along with Oman and Brunei, where it was studying pairing renewable energy with gas, after last year flagging “new energies” would be a potential major source of growth for the fossil fuel company beyond 2020.

“We believe we are in the ­middle of an energy transition that is unstoppable and we want to be in the vanguard of that,” Shell’s global chief Ben van Beurden said after the company’s fourth-­quarter earnings release in Britain on Thursday.

He said renewables alone would not be enough to provide the world with cleaner power.

“An integrated offering of gas and renewables, which cannot only deal with interruptibility and everything else of renewables but also give that second leg that a growing economy needs, is a sensible offering,” Mr van Beurden said.

Chief financial officer Simon Henry confirmed Australia was one of the regions where combined gas and renewables were being studied……..

Shell’s plan, to develop economically viable renewable power stations where a gas switch could be flicked when needed, could ­reduce the need for both coal-­baseload power and expensive gas-only peaking plants…….

While Shell’s renewables focus has been on wind farms so far —,it won a bid in December to build a 700MW wind farm off the coast of Holland — it is understood Shell is investigating solar power, paired with gas, in Australia…….

February 3, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy

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