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Shell Puts U.S. Solar Assets Up for Sale

Shell has put a quarter of its solar power assets in the United States on the market, Reuters reports, citing a company document and unnamed industry sources.

The assets total some 10.6 GW in generation and energy storage capacity, the report said, quoting the document that Shell sent to investors. The assets are under construction and Shell is offering both whole projects and parts of projects for sale.

The move follows a pivot announced by new chief executive Wael Sawan last year that would see Shell refocus on its core business of extracting and selling oil and gas. Reducing global oil and gas production would be “dangerous and irresponsible” as the world still desperately needs those hydrocarbons, Sawan told the BBC last July, indicating Shell was reconsidering its transition plans.

Sawan also said, asked about the UN’s Antonio Guterres’ statement that investing in new oil and gas infrastructure was “moral and economic madness”, “I respectfully disagree.”

“What would be dangerous and irresponsible is cutting oil and gas production so that the cost of living, as we saw last year, starts to shoot up again,” the supermajor’s top executive added, referring to the energy crisis in Europe that is still affecting the EU’s economies adversely.

Shell’s solar power business in the United States is operated by a company called Savion, which has 21.8 GW in its development portfolio in generation projects as well as another 17.4 GW in storage projects, according to the company website. Its completed work totals 2.3 GW in both generation and storage capacity, across 18 projects.

With its new focus on its core business in oil and gas, Shell is reorienting itself to higher-margin projects, according to the new company strategy. That strategy puts an emphasis on electricity trading rather than capacity construction, which carries lower returns.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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