In an interview with Bloomberg Business’ Alix Steel, Maarten Wetselaar, integrated gas and new energies director at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said the company plans on being the largest electricity power company in less than 20 years.
Wetselaar revealed the claim during a series of questions in which Steel pressed him to provide a timeline for Shell’s participation in clean energy. At first, Wetselaar didn’t give a timeframe. Then, after more prodding, he revealed the timeline.
“We believe we can be the largest electricity power company in the world in the early 2030’s because this part of the energy system is going to be the thing that grows fastest. Electrification is the biggest trend in energy in the coming 10 to 15 years. We think the power market will grow a lot and will grow faster than any of the other energy markets, and it’s easy to grow in growing markets.”Said Maarten Wetselaar
Goal for global lead in energy fueled by future complexities
Wetselaar told Steel he believes that the key to taking the company into the future isn’t to look back on their successes of the past but to look forward to what the energy climate will be two decades from now.
“We are not interested in the power business because we like what we saw in the last 20 years. We are interested because we think what we like to see in the next 20 years when this business is becoming a lot more complex.”Said Maarten Wetselaar
In that world, he said, the company foresees a return of between 8 percent and 12 percent. He noted that those returns are based largely on consumer-facing products. Power generation won’t be as profitable, he theorized, but will still add to growth.
As time goes on, customers will have a variety of needs that will be more sophisticated than what is present now.
Consumers want clean energy, direct dealings with power provider
Wetselaar began his interview talking about how much Shell is spending on new energy each year–between $1 billion and $2 billion–then discussed what the company found during research for their new-energy plans.
“What we noticed is that we initially thought there would be a lot of compliance-driven behavior. Actually, most of the customers we deal with do (clean energy) voluntarily,” he said. “These are companies or individuals who just want to go green and don’t need a law to force them to and are looking for carbon-light solutions for their energy provision.”
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