Shell's Wind Energy Project Shelved

Shell Ditches Major London Wind Farm After Record-Profit Year

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted May 9, 2008

"I think instead of taxing income and profits," said my colleague and Profit from the Peak co-author Chris Nelder this week on the Fox Business channel, "We ought to be looking at ways to incentivize the fuels of the future."

In a three-way interview with host Neil Cavuto, Chris and environmental analyst Yusef Robb gave their take on what to do with petroleum profits that Robb called "obscene."

Over in England this week, oil giant Shell scuttled its stake in a model project where oil company profits feed renewable progress, as it pulled out of a scheme to power thousands of London homes with wind energy.

If you haven't seen the Fox Business interview yet, check it out on YouTube:

As one of the minds behind Profit from the Peak, Chris is more concerned with building up than tearing down. He's really got the Peak Oil scenario covered from every angle, and the overlap with Green Chip Stocks is clear when it comes to the transitional energy economy.

Cavuto clearly had issues with Robb in the TV clip, and probably would've preferred more insights from Chris. Why?

Because his observations and suggestions are pure logic. Logic might also explain why Europe is beating America to the punch in moving things forward.

Oil companies like Norwegian operator StatoilHydro (NYSE:STO) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) have been probing North Sea fields for decades, and now those hydrocarbon traps are in irreversible decline since a 1999 peak.

When I ventured to the North Sea coast of Scotland in 2006, I was there to check out transitional energy opportunities being exploited by Canadian firm Talisman Energy (NYSE:TLM).

Beatrice, as the pilot project just outside Edinburgh is known, is a team effort that combines old and new energy ideas and experts.

With the help of Norwegian rig engineering legend Gunnar Foss, Talisman hooked up an aging oil rig to wind turbines anchored in deep water, piloting a wind farm project with huge job and energy-creating potential.

Not only did project bosses I spoke to see the potential for wind energy to augment oil infrastructure, they knew that deepwater wind had to have the big-time financing and experience of companies like Talisman and brains like Foss to move forward.

That's the kind of resource allocation Chris Nelder's talking about, stimulating new energy from the relics of the old.

But as you probably know, energy progress can be undone. We're seeing that right now in one major U.K. project...

Shell Wind Energy Out... E.ON Still In

We were disappointed to read in the British press that Shell is pulling out of the London Array wind power project in England, which would supply household power for a quarter of Greater London homes when it is completed.

Shell wants to unload its 33% stake, but Germany's E.ON (OTC:EONGY) is sticking with it.

That angers British politicians like Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, who called Shell's withdrawal "very disappointing."

Oh and guess what? Shell, the biggest European energy company in market cap terms, crushed analyst estimates for first-quarter earnings by about a billion dollars...

Even though production only increased by 1 percent!

Those who think oil, or ethanol, or wind, is the only answer to our energy woes... should think again.

We are already seeing a combination of competitive technology and some interesting pairings—like oil companies and wind projects—to create lasting solutions.

And though Shell may have set Greater London renewables back a bit, E.ON is in for the long haul and we could very well see another company come in to fill Shell's space.

Focusing on a proper mix of forward-looking energy supply, government direction and market forces will combine to keep us away from catastrophe. Shell, BP, and smaller companies like Talisman will ensure their long term health by using windfall oil profits to pad against major supply drops.

And investors who play renewable stocks while keeping an eye on forward-thinking oil companies will remain in the green.



Sam Hopkins
Green Chip International