Shell Moves on Green Programs

On the heels of BPs announcement that it will cut its greenhouse-gas emissions 10 percent by 2010, Shell pledged the same cuts by 2002. BP is making a major commitment to solar energy, and now, so is Shell. Both companies plan to improve efficiency throughout operations, and reduce venting and flaring of natural gas in exploration and production activities.

Shell is making a $500 million investment in renewable energy resources, and, according to Willem-Jan van Wijk, director of Shell’s solar power division, the company aims to capture about 20 percent of the international commercial market for rural solar electricity systems, worth an estimated $1.1 billion, over the next five years.

Eskom, the South African national electricity utility, and Shell International Renewables, are cooperating on a R130 million solar power project which will provide electricity to 50,000 rural households in South Africa over the next two years. Customers will pay R180 (about US$30; worth US$864)) for installation and R48 (US$8) for a monthly maintenance fee to power the equivalent of four lights and a black a[nd white TV for six hours.

“This is the largest commercial, solar rural electrification project ever, he said. At a local level, it will provide opportunities for job creation, education, and a clean power supply. Since 1991, Eskom has assisted in the electrification of 1,340 schools, and 100 rural clinics using solar, wind and micro-hydro power alternatives to the grid supply.

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