All posts tagged energy

ENI to Build a 50MW Solar Plant in Angola’s Namibe Province

SOLENOVA, a joint venture of the Italian major ENI and the Angolan state oil firm Sonangol, has reached Final Investment Decision (FID) for the first phase of the Caraculo photovoltaic project, located in the Namibe province in Angola.

The signing of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract is also in hand.

The plant is expected to start-up in the fourth quarter of 2022. The first phase is 25 MWp (Megawatts at Peak). The planned total capacity of the plant is 50 MWp.

“The Caraculo photovoltaic plant will be an important source of electrical power from a renewable resource in the Namibe province”, ENI says in a release. “It will allow the reduction of diesel consumption for electricity generation, thus reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) and contributing to Angola’s energy transition”


AfDB Allocates a Whopping $25Billion for Green Growth in Cote d’Ivoire

The African Development Bank (AfDB) will inject $25Billion into climate projects and green growth in Ivory Coast. This green financing will help accelerate the level of development and reduce emissions in this West African country by 2025.

The fund is meant to finance climate change adaptation and green growth projects paying for renewable energy, green mobility and smart agriculture, with the target to create 500 000 jobs in West Africa’s third  largest economy.

“The $25Billion support will enable Ivory Coast to meet the challenges of the ecological transition and optimize its share of the 4% that the continent receives from the Global Climate Fund”, contends Charlotte Ako, the AfDB’s Head of Climate Change and Green Growth.

Since the Paris climate agreements were signed in 2015, the AfDB has embarked on promotion of the green economy.

In the event, the pancontinental lender has been investing in renewable energy projects across Africa. It has supported the Nachtigal hydroelectric project in Cameroon, the Alcazar solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Egypt and the Lake Turkana wind farm project in Kenya.



COP27 Will Be in Africa, it is Official

Egypt has officially been selected as host of the COP27 climate summit, which will be held in the red sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh in November 2022.

The parties had agreed that the conference must be hosted by an African country in 2022, based on a regional rotation system.

“Officially.. Egypt embraces the African continent by hosting the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Agreement on Climate Change COP27”, the country’s Ministry of Environment says in a statement, adding: “it is a new chapter in Egypt’s leadership in the region’s leadership in climate work to unify the world’s efforts to combat the effects of climate change”.

There really was no contest. It was only in September 2021 that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced that Egypt would bid to host COP27. In October, it was selected as the sole nominee.

Next year’s summit is seen as a chance for African nations to drive home their main message: those poorer countries, who are facing the sharp end of the consequences of climate change despite being least responsible for the situation the world is in now, need a serious helping hand if they are to adapt, mitigate risk, and meet ambitious net-zero goals.

COP26 witnessed tensions between the global north and global south, after developed nations fell short of their pledge to provide $100Billion in aid annually to aid developing countries’ green transition.

Egypt has pushed, in the last 15 years, for the position of an Energy hub at the junction between the middle east, Africa and Europe. Now it sees itself as a “mediator between African and developed states on climate aid”.


Coal Will Not Be Phased Out, COP26 Delegates ‘Agree’

An initial draft of the Climate Agreement, hashed out in Glasgow over the last weekend, included “phasing out” coal use. But the final agreement on which diplomats at the COP26 conference signed off, last Saturday, November 13, 2021, however had replaced “phasing out” with “phasing down” coal use.

Meaning: the one fossil fuel that most delegates had decided should go, was retained

That alteration was at the instance of India, the world’s second most populated country, hosting close to a fifth of mankind. Simonetta Sommaruga, the representative from Switzerland, loudly criticized the change, leading negotiators from Mexico and other countries to lament, publicly, that the change was a last-minute call which undermined the process.

That drama itself highlights the disparity of opinions regarding the speed at which the energy transition should go.

While the headline news that diplomats from nearly 200 countries struck a major agreement, aimed at intensifying efforts to fight climate change by calling on governments to return next year with stronger plans to curb their planet-warming emissions and urging wealthy nations to “at least double” funding by 2025 to protect the most vulnerable nations from the hazards of a hotter planet, it is clear that the deal falls far short.

Saturday’s agreement will not, on its own, solve global warming, despite the increasing urgency of the campaign witnessed at the climate summit (the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland).

There remains, stubbornly, the question of how much and how quickly each nation should cut its emissions over the next decade.

Most of the world’s poor countries have no guarantee of accessing the funding they need to build cleaner energy and cope with increasingly extreme weather disasters. Nor did the. conference achieve any of its key goals: agreeing to cut emissions in half by the end of the decade, and crucially, agreeing a roadmap that would limit warming to 1.5°C .

The gabfest underlined the complexity of trying to steer scores of countries, each with their particular economic interests and domestic politics, to act in unison for the greater good. The core of COP26 attendees were from countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty agreed in 1994.

Learning to Live with Less

By Gerard Kreeft







About half of the world’s fossil fuel assets will be worthless by 2036 under a net zero transition, according to a new paper published in Nature Energy. The lead author, Jean-Francois Mercure of the University of Exeter, said the shift to clean energy would benefit the world economy overall, but it would need to be handled carefully to prevent regional pockets of misery and possible global instability.

Countries that are slow to decarbonize will suffer but early movers will profit; the study finds that renewables and freed-up investment will more than make up for the losses to the global economy.

It highlights the risk of producing far more oil and gas than required for future demand, which is estimated to leave $11Trillion-$14Trillion in so-called stranded assets – infrastructure, property and investments where the value has fallen so steeply, they must be written off.

“In a worst-case scenario, people will keep investing in fossil fuels until suddenly the demand they expected does not materialize and they realize that what they own is worthless. Then we could see a financial crisis on the scale of 2008,” he said, warning oil capitals such as Houston could suffer the same fate as Detroit after the decline of the US car industry unless the transition is carefully managed.

The new paper illustrates how a drop in demand for oil and gas before 2036 will reshape the geopolitical landscape. Current investment flows and government commitments to reach net zero emissions by 2050 will make renewable energy more efficient, cheaper and stable, while fossil fuels will be hit by more price volatility. Many carbon assets, such as oil or coal reserves, will be left unburned, while machinery will also be stranded and no longer produce value for its owners.

To what extent can the new independents, taking over oil and gas assets from the oil majors, be a force of good? Carrying out exploration and developing of oil and gas assets and also develop green energy. Some guidance was provided at a recent conference hosted by Frontier Energy. The panel included: Ignacio de Calonje, Chief Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation; Zoḗ Knight, Group Head HSBC Centre for Sustainable Finance, HSBC; Rob Tims, Managing Director, RWT Energy Advisory; Christopher McLean, CEO, Stonechair Capital; Jim Totty, Managing Director, Viridis Capital.

Some key conclusions:

To encourage better sustainable development In emerging markets there is the need to have better financial linkages  between interest rates and CO2 emissions standards.

IFC does provide concessional financing to reduce project risk so that other investors can get on board.

In emerging markets, IFC virtually does no financing of oil and gas projects, the exception being some gas projects that are linked to sustainable development. Offshore wind is a growth area for IFC.

Important to understand Africa’s diversity: some of the highest GDP growth in the world, enormous needs for technology and sustainable energy projects. Energy affects agriculture, stable medical delivery, reliable logistics, and efficient technology growth.

Lack of standardization of financial parameters throughout Africa.

Institutions in Africa lack the sophistication to implement equity financing.

Huge need for PPPs ( private-public partnerships) for transmission and distribution projects.

Energy trading must be encouraged across Africa: for example,  North African gas and solar producers with Sub-Sahara Africa consuming countries.

Learning to Live with Less

It is estimated  that the world population will reach 9.4 billion by 2050, 10.4Billion by 2100, and will ultimately stabilize at just under 11 billion persons around 2200. A growth of such a magnitude also requires an energy system of various aspects- bringing energy poverty nations relief and in the industrialized countries greater energy efficiency with less resources.

Must we think in terms of Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal of 1729? In his Modest Proposal he suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their  children as food to rich gentlemen and ladies.

One of the most compelling energy scenarios is Wood Mackenzie’s AET-2(Accelerated Energy Transition scenario). According to Wood Mackenzie: “The AET-2 scenario is based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change carbon budget allocation for the next eight decades, to 2100. It sets out our view of how the world can limit the average rise in global temperatures to 2 °C compared with pre-industrial times, examining potential policy drivers, cost reductions and technological innovations. Electrification and low-carbon fuels are central to meeting the 2 °C limit.  We estimate that electricity meets 47% of total final energy consumption globally in 2050 compared with 20% today. Three key assumptions underlie our AET-2 scenario:

  • rapid electrification in all sectors;
  • the decarbonisation of the power sector through the penetration of renewables and storage and coal-to-gas switching;
  • the large-scale development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) – 5 billion tonnes (Bt) by 2050 – and low-carbon hydrogen – 380 million tonnes (Mt) by 2050 – in hard-to-decarbonise sectors.”

AET-2 has massive implications for oil and gas demand in 2050: 70% lower than today. From 2023 onward oil demand drops with year-on-year fall of around 2 million barrels per day (bpd). Total oil demand by 2050 is down to 35 million bpd.

Natural gas demands, in contrast, remains resilient to about 2050. Large scale CCS in the industrial and power sectors will support gas while the deployment of blue hydrogen (135Mt by 2050) is a growth sector. Growth will come primarily from Asia, especially China and India.

Under AET-2 the assumption is that as many as 80% of new vehicles sold are electric, either battery-driven or hybrid. Heavy transport- ships and trains- are electric or hydrogen driven. Non-combustion liquid petrochemical demand for plastics is damped by higher rates of recycling.

Wood Mackenzie’s AET-2’s scenario draws the following conclusions:

  • World needs no new supply of oil…” core function is to maintain current commercial production by going into full harvest mode” …
  • Market power slips from OPEC to giant gas producers such as USA, Russia and Qatar.
  • Downstream suffers death by a thousand cuts. By 2050 the refining sector will have withered to 1/3 of its current capacity with less than 150 of the current sites in operation.
  • Era of carbon-neutral gas is born. AET-2 would require $300 billion to support Liquified Natural Gas growth globally and $700Billion to support dry gas development in North America. Blue hydrogen and ammonia emerge as new market products.
  • Currently no International Oil Company nor National Oil Company is prepared for the scale of decline envisaged in this scenario.

Gerard Kreeft, BA (Calvin University, Grand Rapids, USA) and MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), Energy Transition Adviser, was founder and owner of EnergyWise.  He has managed and implemented energy conferences, seminars and university master classes in Alaska, Angola, Brazil, Canada, India, Libya, Kazakhstan, Russia and throughout Europe.  Kreeft has Dutch and Canadian citizenship and resides in the Netherlands.  He writes on a regular basis for Africa Oil + Gas Report and contributes to the Institute Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). His book entitled The 10 Commandments of the Energy Transition, is scheduled for publication in early 2022.



AfDBank Approves ~$58Million Loan to Eskom for Battery Storage

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $57.67Million loan to Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, South Africa’s public electricity utility—and Africa’s largest— to harness battery storage technology that will increase electricity generation from reliable and efficient renewable energy sources.

The Bank’s financing, a concessional loan, will come from the Clean Technology Fund, a multi-donor trust fund under the Climate Investment Funds. The pioneering Battery Energy Storage Systems Project is being co-financed with the World Bank and the New Development Bank.

The project involves the development of 200MW of battery storage with four hours of energy storage capacity per day, or 800MW in total, at seven sites in South Africa’s Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.

Once onstream, Eskom will be able to dispatch electricity sourced from variable renewable energy that would otherwise have been wasted, reducing reliance on fossil fuel-generated electricity at peak times of the day.

Daniel Schroth, the AfDB’s Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, says:: “The approval of the Climate Technology Fund facility reflects the African Development Bank’s strong commitment to support South Africa’s Just Energy Transition plans, prioritizing investment in new low-carbon generation capacity and new technologies such as battery storage. This comes at a critical moment as the world is gearing up for action at COP26.”

The large utility-scale battery storage project, the first of its kind in Africa, is expected to contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions of as much as  0.292Million tons. It will also inform the rollout of similar projects across the continent. Many African countries are implementing an energy transition as they strive to meet net zero emissions targets.

The project also contributes to South Africa’s ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution, part of compliance with the Paris climate agreement.

The $5.4Billion Clean Technology Fund promotes low-carbon technologies with significant potential to reduce long-term greenhouse gas emissions. The African Development Bank has been an implementing entity of the Climate Investment Funds since 2010.


Africa Energy Week 2021, Taking Place in Cape Town; Will  Focus on Investment, Oil and Gas, Renewables and Energy Transition

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  •  The African Energy Chamber is set to host the first-ever African Energy Week (AEW) in Cape Town on 9th – 12th November 2021.
  • Replacing Africa Oil Week, the four-day interactive conference seeks to unite industry stakeholders, international speakers and movers and shakers from the African oil and gas sector.
  • The conference comprises high-class networking events, innovative exhibitions, and one-on-one private meetings, with a golf tournament on the final day, providing a one-of-a-kind experience for stakeholders interested in the growth and success of the African energy sector.

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is excited to announce the official launch of African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, taking place in Cape Town on 9th – 12th November 2021. AEW 2021 will showcase the first-ever African Energy Village, an interactive exhibition and networking event that seeks to unite African energy stakeholders, drive industry growth and development, and promote Africa as the destination for African-focused events.

Commencing with a three-day conference and ending with a golf tournament on 12th November, the event’s primary focus is to define and promote the African energy agenda through development, deal-making, and private sector participation. Key topics include making energy poverty history before 2030 and the future of the African oil and gas industry; African upstream, midstream and downstream opportunities; African oil, gas and finance in the face of the energy transition – highlighting African financing institutions such as the African Development Bank, the African Export-Import Bank, the African Financing Corporation, Africa50, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Central African States; local content; women in energy and making African energy competitive for investment into a decarbonized Africa.

Additionally, the conference will address the role of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the International Energy Agency (IEC), the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), and the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Africa. By opening the dialogue on Africa’s gas miracle and its potential in markets including Senegal, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Algeria, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Congo-Brazzaville, and Angola ­–  as well as small-scale Liquified Natural Gas, intra-African trade and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement – the conference represents the ideal networking and deal-making platform for all African energy stakeholders.

The AEC’s commitment to hosting this Africa-focused event in Africa comes at a  crucial time for the oil and gas industry. In light of recent developments that seek to suggest that Africa is not capable of hosting events of global standards, the Chamber feels responsible to voice against this and lead by example by showcasing the continent and all its profound beauty.

With this in mind, the only African-focused, in-person energy event aims to capture the essence and cultural hub that exists in Cape Town. The AEC will not abandon the continent for international venues. AEW 2021 is an energy event like no other and the AEC is fully focused on promoting African development and growth through African-held events.

“We are happy with the tremendous support from so many in-and-outside Africa. Our Oil and Gas producers have been a force for good and we must be proud of this industry. We must also welcome energy transition and engage Africa with the most forceful conversation and solutions for the future. AEW 2021 offers a unique and interactive networking experience in which global energy stakeholders can unite and participate in the continent’s transformation. The time is now,” says NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber.

“Africa Energy Week will have a bold message that encourages energy solutions that cut out entitlements, handouts and foreign aid. No one owes us anything and in order for so many Africans  who want to make energy poverty history to triumph, we must embrace all forms of energy in our energy mix. We must attract investors and push our leadership so that each country wins when we create and encourage an enabling environment,” adds Ayuk.

AEW 2021 is taking place with the full support of prominent African and global industry leaders and oil and gas organizations and is focused on expanding opportunities in Africa. Additionally, AEW 2021 will present innovative exhibition spaces at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront that aim to promote African heritage and culture, while showcasing the exciting technological advancements the industry has to offer.

“African energy producers can only grow and meet energy demand when we all do our best to mobilize our resources and advocate for important principles of personal responsibility, smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty, and the rule of law. This will kick start investment and make a transition that works for Africa. Let’s do this in Africa, for Africa and for the energy sector,” concludes Ayuk.

Of equal importance, the event will take place under strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all attendees. In line with current government regulations, AEW 2021 will host a series of networking events across a variety of locations at the V&A Waterfront, thereby ensuring social gathering limits are in place at all times. Additionally, through mandatory testing and the availability of personal protective equipment and facilities, AEW 2021 aims to protect attendees while ensuring a successful and productive event.

For more information about this transformative event, visit or /or email Amina Williams at

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For speaker opportunity related enquires contact







Husk Power to Install Solar Mini Grids in Nigeria’s Nassarawa State

United States-based Husk Power Systems has signed a grant agreement with Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to install solar mini-grids in seven rural communities in the country’s Northcentral state of Nasarawa.

The grant is under the purview of a subsidy, implemented by the REA support suppliers of green mini-grids, whose power generation and distribution systems are a major asset for rural electrification in elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Performance-Based Grants (PBGs) are awarded under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), co-financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank. 

Husk Power will install its mini-grids in Doma Local Government Area (Rukubi, Idadu, and Igbabo) and Lafia Local Government Area (Kiguna, Akura, Gidan Buba, and Sabon Gida).

This mechanism increases access to electricity for unsaved and underserved communities using hybrid solar technology. 

Husk estimates that these mini-grids will provide electricity to 5,000 households, as well as rural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With the PBG, for each connection, the mini-grid provider will receive a $350 grant or $10,000 for each green mini-grid installed in Nasarawa State. The completion of this project will expand Husk’s portfolio.

Husk Power operates 130 green mini-grids in India and Tanzania. 

It has deployed its facilities at eight sites in Tanzania and provides electricity to 1,349 people while employing 23 others. Nearly a year ago, Husk secured $5 million from Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), the Dutch development finance company, to expand its services in Africa and Asia.

Shell in Transition: Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best!

By Gerard Kreeft

Shell’s unveiling of its Refhyne Hydrogen Project, located at its Energy and Chemicals Park in Rhineland, Germany has attracted much attention. Plans are underway to expand the capacity of the electrolyzer from 10 Megawatts to 100 Megawatts. Shell also intends to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using renewable power and biomass in the future. A plant for liquefied renewable natural gas (bio-LNG) is also in development.

As part of the Refhyne European consortium and with European Commission funding through the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), the fully operational plant is the first to use this technology at such a large scale in a refinery.

“Shell wants to become a leading supplier of green hydrogen for industrial and transport customers in Germany,” according to Huibert Vigeveno, the company’s Downstream Director. “We will be involved in the whole process — from power generation, using offshore wind, to hydrogen production and distribution across sectors. We want to be the partner of choice for our customers as we help them decarbonize.” 

Shell has a target to become a net-zero-emissions energy business by 2050. The company plans to transform its refinery footprint to five core energy and chemicals parks, reducing the production of traditional fuels by 55% by 2030.

Does Shell’s goal for its energy and chemical parks fit within the verdict brought down by the Dutch courts ordering Shell to cut by 2030 its CO2 emissions by 45% compared to 2019 levels? Is Shell still in charge of its energy transition scenariosor is it desperately playing catch-up to ensure that its influence and strategy has an impact on the swiftly changing energy landscape?

In Shell’s latest energy scenario update, four conclusions are stated:

• Energy needs will grow

• Energy system will be transformed-speed is the issue

• Transformation will have costs and benefits

• Action accelerators are necessary to meet climate aspirations.

Shell in its Sky 1.5 Scenario anticipates a rapid and deep electrification of the global economy, with growth dominated by renewable resources. Global demand for coal and oil peak in the 2020s and natural gas in the 2030s.

In the sectors that are more difficult to electrify, liquid and gaseous fuels are progressively decarbonized through biofuels and hydrogen.

“Globally, the world is proceeding towards achieving the stretch Paris ambition-temporarily rising above and then limiting average global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels before the end of the century-accelerated decarbonization now”.

Before returning to Shell…a short summary of the competition.

The New Competition

The Remainders: ExxonMobil and Chevron, two companies who continue to believe that decarbonization is only being done within the confines of the hydrocarbon world. CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) is only understood to at least give a pretense that the companies are tuned in to the energy transition. Look forward to both companies developing a closer relationship to maintain economies of scale.

First AdaptersTOTALEnergies, in the summer of 2020, took the unusual step of writing off $7Billion impairment charges for two oil sands projects in Canada.  Both projects at the time were listed as ‘proven reserves’. By declaring these proven reserves as null and void, TotalEnergies, with one swoop of the pen, cast aside the Petroleum Classification System which was the gold standard for measuring oil company reserves. 

The company simply decided that these reserves could never be produced at a profit. InsteadTOTALEnergies has substituted renewables as reserves that can be produced profitably.

TOTALEnergies’ strategy is based on the two energy scenarios developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA): Stated Policies Scenario (SPS) is geared for the short/ medium term; and Sustainable Development Scenario(SDS) for medium/long term.   

Taking the “Well Below 2 Degrees Centigrade” SDS scenario on board: TOTALEnergies has in essence taken on a new classification system. By embracing this strategy, the company is the only major to have seen the direct benefit of using the Paris Climate Agreement to enhance its renewable energy base.

Decentralizers: Will BP become the first super-major to become an investment vehicle that is both green and can guarantee shareholders a handsome return on investment? BP is building an investment structure, which requires only a few skilled accountants. The company has either sacked employees or will be delegating BP’s headcount to its joint ventures. The goal is becoming lean and mean, reducing costs and hopefully increasing margins. In short, an investment vehicle. 

BP is promising returns in the range of 12% -14% in 2025 –up from around 9% today, financed by a $25Billion divestment fund and a pipeline of 25 oil and gas projects. Oil production will also be reduced to 40% by 2030. To date, the company has initiated a series of joint ventures in order to speed up its transition.

New Energy Giants: New boys on the block, who will provide green leadership and challenge the oil majors.

Engie: in 2021, will spend €11-12Billion on investments across a broad swath of sectors including solar, wind (on and offshore), hydro plants, biogas, and developing gas and power lines, and will have 33GW of global renewable installed capacity by 2021.

Enel: Enel’s strategic plan outlines total investments of €190 billion by 2030 and tripling renewable capacity to 145GW. 

Ørsted: By 2030, Ørsted will have an installed capacity of 50GW. 

Iberdrola: In the period 2020-2025, Iberdrola will be spending €75 billion on renewable energy and has a pending target of 95GW of installed wind capacity.

RWE: By 2022, RWE will have 28.7GW of installed wind and solar capacity. 

Vattenfall: In the Nordic countries Vattenfall has low emissions with practically 100% of the electricity produced based on renewable hydropower and low-emitting nuclear energy.

Shell: In Search of its Soul?

Shell’s energy prognosis is certainly in line with other sources who are sounding alarmed about global warming and the need for rapid de-carbonization. Yet how will this affect Shell as a company? Is the company nimble enough and has the dexterity to ensure it will be a force for good in the next phase of the energy transition? The signs are not encouraging.

In 2020, IEEFA (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis), evaluated Shell’s green progress. According to Clark Butler, the author of the report, Shell must shift at least $10Billion per annum or 50% of total capital expenditures from oil and gas and invest in renewable energy if they are to reduce their carbon intensity in line with their own stated goals.

Between 2016-2019, Shell spent $89Billion in total investments, of which only $2.3Billion was devoted to green energy. In 2019, Shell’s overall operating costs came to $38Billion and capital spending totaled $24Billion.

How will Shell’s re-branding affect the company’s three major divisions- Upstream, Integrated Gas, and Downstream?

Upstream is still on the operating table but the immediate signs are not encouraging. Shell’s Nigerian assets-onshore, and shallow water- are already on the auction block, encouraging Nigeria’s independents to pick up potential assets. Shell, meanwhile, will instead move further downstream to ensure continuity of its gas-related and trading activities in Nigeria. Helping the company to portray a greener image.

Shell is one of the most adaptive of the IOCs in Canada. Noteworthy is that Canada is the world’s 4th largest oil producer at 4.7Million barrels of oil per day and is also a major producer of natural gas. The Canadian government is determined that Canada will be net-zero by 2050. Shell Canada has divested most of its heavy oil-producing assets in Alberta but is still a large producer of gas. Shell also is an operator of the leading-edge Quest carbon sequestration projects near Edmonton, Alberta.  The CO2 is removed from the Scotford heavy oil upgrader. Quest became operational in 2015 and injects 3,600 tonnes of CO2 per day into a deep reservoir. To date, 6.5Million tonnes of CO2 have been stored. Shell is also an operator of the $25Billion LNG plant being built at Kitimat on the west coast of British Columbia. This is the first LNG plant to be built in Canada.  

Earlier Shell indicated that it will reduce its Upstream Division to nine core hubs such as the Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria, and the North Sea and no frontier exploration after 2025. If the rush to the global exploration exit continues to pick up speed Shell may well have to reconsider its upstream strategy. Perhaps going so far as to spin the Upstream Division off as a separate entity or joint-venturing with other partners.

Shell’s Integrated Gas Division could prove to be the star asset. For example, Wood Mackenzie’s AET-2 scenario (Accelerated Energy Transition Scenario) predicts that in the following decades market power will slip from OPEC to the giant gas producers such as the USA, Russia, and Qatar.

According to AET-2, the “Era of carbon-neutral gas is born. AET-2 would require $300Billion to support Liquified Natural Gas growth globally and $700Billion to support dry gas development in North America.” Certainly, a sweet sound for Shell’s LNG business.

Downstream could also prove to be a key energy transition asset. Shell’s Refhyne Project, Rhineland Refinery could well become the precedent the company needs to ensure it becomes the leading supplier of green hydrogen, where hydrogen production is powered by renewable energy for industrial and transport customers. Could the Refhyne Project become duplicated many times over to ensure that green technology becomes a key ingredient in the energy transition?

A key remaining issue is how Shell can re-allocate its resources-both financial and technical-and maintain an image of being in control of its energy transition scenarios. Upstream with its huge exploration and development costs is perhaps Shell’s largest impediment to becoming a greener company. Do not be surprised that in the coming months, Shell’s Upstream will find a new home. Freeing up funding needed for Shell’s own energy transition. Also, expect Shell’s Integrated Gas and Downstream and Renewables to get a serious makeover vastly increasing their budgets to ensure market share and a green future.

Finally, do not be surprised that Shell, under pressure from public opinion and its shareholders becomes CO2 neutral in 2030 instead of 2050.

Gerard Kreeft, BA (Calvin University, Grand Rapids, USA) and MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), Energy Transition Adviser, was the founder and owner of EnergyWise. He has managed and implemented energy conferences, seminars, and university master classes in Alaska, Angola, Brazil, Canada, India, Libya, Kazakhstan, Russia, and throughout Europe. Kreeft has Dutch and Canadian citizenship and resides in the Netherlands. He writes on a regular basis for Africa Oil + Gas Report and contributes to the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

102 Proposals Registered for 2,600MW in South Africa’s Latest Renewable Energy Bid

The South African government is registering 102 proposals for the 5th   round of its ambitious Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP).

The government is targeting 2,600MW of new clean energy capacity.

For the round,  launched in March 2021 and closed on August 16th, 2021, the South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, expects 1,000 MW of solar power to be built, compared with 1,600 MW of new wind power capacity.

Of the 102 bids from independent power producers (IPPs), 63 bids are solar PV plants, and the rest (39) are onshore wind farms. The South African government plans to unveil the successful proposals in October or November 2021.

This is expected to accelerate with the closing of funding for the individual projects set for February or March 2022. Successful IPPs will then have 24 months to begin commercial operation of their facilities, which will be connected to the national  grid, operated by  Eskom, the state-owned utility.

Recent phases of REIPPP have been very successful with the construction of wind and solar farms in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

Since the programme began in 2011, over 4 201 MW of electricity generation capacity from 67 IPP projects has been connected to the national grid;

The South African government’s initiative is helping to diversify its electricity mix.


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