Shell explores renewables in PHL

THE local business of Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell plc is setting its sights on renewable energy in line with a “global priority” to diversify into clean power sources, the Philippine country manager said.

“It [renewable energy] was declared as one of our priorities in the Royal Dutch Shell group,” said Cesar G. Romero, who heads the Shell companies in the country.

“We’re very interested in trying to explore renewable opportunities in the Philippines,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the group’s yearend media event on Wednesday night.

Mr. Romero, who is also president of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., said the company was in the “scouting phase” for a possible project, which could happen earlier than the next three to five years.

“We’re prepared to use a combination of platforms depending on what may be a commercial viable opportunity,” he said.

He said the starting point for Shell in its foray into renewables would be solar, although could also explore various combinations, such as a hybrid of solar and gas or diesel. Hydropower would not be a top choice because it is location-dependent, he added.

“We’re open minded about the technology that we will be using,” he said, adding that solar power with battery storage and backed up by generation set is also an option.

Mr. Romero said Shell was considering whether to put up a holding company for the venture or place renewables in a separate entity.

“Just to demonstrate the seriousness of the company, we’ve even formed a new organization globally (called) ‘New Energies,’” he said.

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