Energy crisis lifeline: Shell announces plans for £25bn injection into UK clean power

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the volatility of the global fossil fuel energy market have pushed European countries, including the UK, to ensure their own energy security. As the cost of wholesale gas around the world skyrockets, the UK has announced ambitious renewable energy generation targets, along with major investments in low-carbon sources of energy like wind and nuclear power.

Now Britain has received a major boost to those plans as Shell has announced that it is looking to expand its business supplying electricity to UK households.

As part of its own push towards clean energy and away from oil and gas, the UK-based energy firm plans to supply clean power to five million households and electric car drivers by 2030, up from about 1.5 million today.

According to the Telegraph, Shell is planning to invest £20billion-£25billion in the UK over the decade, with over 75 percent of that sum being invested in low carbon energy such as wind turbines and electric car charging points.

David Bunch, Shell’s UK country chair, noted that the investments will help “propel the UK closer to net zero and help to ensure security of supply”.

However, he added the FTSE 100 firm needs a “stable tax and investment climate” and businesses and government need to “pull in the same direction”.

This appears to be a reference to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision last month to impose a £5billion windfall tax on energy companies that have seen sky-high profits while consumers continue to fork out extra cash to pay their bills.

As part of his “significant set of interventions”, the Chancellor said he would introduce a “temporary, targeted energy profits levy”.

Mr Sunak said: “The oil and gas sector is making extraordinary profits, not as the result of recent changes to risk-taking or innovation or efficiency, but as the result of surging global commodity prices driven in part by Russia’s war.”

The Chancellor said the profits levy would be 25 percent, with a 90 percent tax relief for firms that invest in oil and gas extraction in Britain.

Currently, Shell is primarily involved in fossil fuel extraction, however, it is also responsible for supplying energy to about 1.4 million UK households through its UK retail business Shell Energy Retail.

The company has also launched Shell Recharge, an electric car charging service that so has had 100,000 drivers sign up to access over 10,000 public EV charging points across the UK.

According to Shell’s website: “We plan to grow our public EV charging network to 100,000 by 2030.

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“This means that 90 percent of all UK drivers will be within a 10-minute drive of a Shell rapid charger.”

Shell’s retail arm has seen major growth in the past year, as it picked up 500,000 customers left behind by energy suppliers that went bust due to volatile gas prices.

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