Whilst everyone else gets excited about the potential for renewable energy, the Chief Executive of Shell, Jeroen Van Der Veer shows a remarkable lack of foresight or imagination. Writing in the Financial Times this week, Van Der Veer outlined his “vision for meeting energy needs beyond oil”.
So what is his great idea? “The biggest impact technology could have is to increase significantly the amount of conventional oil we recover from existing reservoirs” he writes. Therefore his vision is “for ‘green fossil fuels’ with much of their CO captured and sequestrated underground or in inert materials. In the medium term, this could be cheaper, more convenient and more flexible than alternative energies”.
Everywhere else is buzzing with the huge potential for renewable energy and energy conservation as ways of creating jobs and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, whereas the chief executive of Shell’s big idea is “green fossil fuels”. The climate may be frying, oil may be running out, the polar ice sheets are melting, but you can rely on Shell for the right solution.
Don’t forget the old saying. Once an oilman, always an oilman. Even to your grave.
Climate change is a huge problem and needs many solutions. Removing CO2 from fossil-fuel use is a significant solution – one that Shell is well suited to pursue. Shell also pursues renewables, although so far half heartedly. As for energy conservation, Shell in not in a position to do much about the efficiency of its retail customers. Pick on ExxonMobil for not acknowledging climate change, and for not pursuing sequestration.
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