Guest “Why would we want to be ‘competitive’ with Europe” by David Middleton
Shell Is Looking To Shake Up The Energy Game In Texas
By Haley Zaremba – Jun 12, 2022, 10:00 AM CDT
➼ Europe’s biggest oil firms are rushing to diversify their portfolios while expanding into green energy.
➼ Shell announced this week that it will begin selling electricity generated from renewable sources directly to residents and businesses in the Lone Star State. Shell noted that one of the reasons that it is prioritizing Texas as its first market is that “more than 26 million of the state’s nearly 29 million residents were served by a single grid.
For years now, we have seen a growing divide between oil supermajors in Europe and the United States, as Big Oil has split into two factions on opposite sides of the Atlantic over what to do in response to climate change and increasing global calls for decarbonization. As climate activists grow louder and policymakers ramp up the pressure on the fossil fuels sector to clean up its act, European companies have rushed to diversify their portfolios and rebrand themselves as Big Energy. Meanwhile, in the U.S. Big Oil has stood its ground and doubled down on oil and gas, instead investing in schemes such as carbon capture, carbon offsetting, and biofuels. The approach in the United States has been criticized as insufficient to meet global climate goals…
On the other side of the argument, Big Oil in the United States points to the massive potential economic fallout and decline in energy security and independence that may come with a swift transition to green energy.
But while Big Oil has been dragging its feet on the renewable revolution on this side of the pond, European supermajors have seen the writing on the wall, and have made enormous advances in the field of clean energy that threatens to bury any competition from the U.S. once renewables become the norm and oil and gas slowly but surely become overshadowed and then obsolete.
In fact, Shell noted that one of the reasons that it is prioritizing Texas as its first market is that “more than 26 million of the state’s nearly 29 million residents were served by a single grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas [ERCOT].” In fact, more opportunities to buy more energy outside of ERCOT can’t come fast enough, as Texas is staring down the barrel of potentially massive energy shortages during summer heat waves.
Climate advocates and skeptics alike can agree on one thing: becoming competitive with Europe will be essential to the future security of the United States economy.
Show of hands… How many catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) skeptics agree that “becoming competitive with Europe will be essential to the future security of the United States economy”?
This is as dumb as saying that the United States Marine Corps becoming competitive with the Peace Corps is essential to national security. It’s also an appropriate analogy because the Brandon Maladministration appears to be trying to turn the Marine Corps into something other than “the few, the proud, the Marines”…
But, I digress…
The New York Times article about Shell going full BP, might actually be dumber than the OilPrice.com article. I won’t directly quote from it, because the Slimes is very touchy about being quoted on WUWT… The article states that Shell will acquire electricity solely from wind and solar installations around Texas and directly sell it to consumers at a fixed price. Clearly, someone doesn’t know how the grid works.
ERCOT manages the grid over most of Texas
Within most of the ERCOT grid, Transmission and Distribution Utilities (TDU) manage the electricity delivery system (power lines, transformers, etc.):
Areas not covered by TDU’s have municipal utilities, electric cooperatives or are served by investor-owned utilities.
When there’s a power outage in Dallas, Oncor fixes it, not ERCOT. However, we don’t actually purchase our electricity from ERCOT or Oncor, we purchase it from one of the multitude of Retail Electric Providers (REP), like TXU, Reliant, etc. We can purchase an all renewable plan; however, we’d get the exact same mix of electricity sources as everyone else in Oncor. 100% “green energy” plans are basically state-sponsored greenwashing scams.
Based on the OilPrice.com and NY Slimes articles, I have no idea what Shell is actually planning on doing. Are they going to be operating power plants? Building out renewable-only transmission lines? Becoming just one more retailer hawking green scams? Fortunately, the Houston Chronicle has a more coherent article.
Shell launches renewable power brand in Texas under a new branch of the company
June 7, 2022
Global oil major Shell on Tuesday said it is entering the residential electricity market in Texas, offering renewable power under a new branch of the company.
The launch of Shell Energy Solutions marks The Hague-based company’s entry into the U.S. power market, with perks for electric vehicle drivers and homeowners with solar panels.
The move is the latest step by the oil giant to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and reposition itself as a broader energy provider as the world transitions to cleaner fuels. It follows an announcement last week that it had bought Houston-based gas station and convenience store chain Landmark to provide charging stations and alternative motor fuels in the future.
Shell previously acquired The Woodlands-based MP2 Energy, a power retailer with 33,000 customers that will now carry the Shell Energy Solutions brand.
“We’re excited about this entry into the residential electricity market and look forward to providing a suite of 100 percent renewable electricity plans to customers across the state,” said Glenn Wright, Shell’s vice president of renewables and energy solutions.
So, we can add Shell Energy Solutions to the list of more than 70 retail electricity providers in Texas, most of which, if not all, already offer variations of green energy scams.
On becoming competitive with Europe… Why?
But while Big Oil has been dragging its feet on the renewable revolution on this side of the pond, European supermajors have seen the writing on the wall, and have made enormous advances in the field of clean energy that threatens to bury any competition from the U.S. once renewables become the norm and oil and gas slowly but surely become overshadowed and then obsolete.OilPrice.com
According to the EIA’s 2021 International Energy Outlook, fossil fuels will still account for about 70% of global primary energy consumption in 2050.
Even after the St Valentine’s Day 2021 storm, Texas has not revised the financial structure on dealing with weather dependent sources.
Real world, wind and solar should sell at a deep discount, being intermittent.
Weather dependence, environmental dependence, during operation. Then it gets less green, and Greener, with progress from recovery to reclamation.
All the “windiest” corridors have been planted with giant ugly propeller towers … every new location is increasingly inefficient…
No, solar and wind should be required to be reliable. How do they do that? It’s up to them.
TX Is hot & dry, with most of its water spoken for & would have to use battery backup. A
back-of-the-envelope estimate’s ~$60B per 1 GW of solar power, including batteries &
panels for 5 dark days. He didn’t include extras- land, power lines, easements, reserve
capacity, …. He assumed good weather before & after the 5 days. TX uses ~60 GW 24/7-
so it’s ~$4T. It’s the scamster’s dirty little secret!
Tom, I understand what you are saying, and agree, but I’d add this caveat – intermittents should sell at a discount into a regulated system, such as we have in West Virginia, because you are forcing them on consumers who also have to pay for back up/baseload. But they could reasonably sell for a premium in a competitive market, to any person or organization that wanted to be able to claim an offset to their fossil fuel emissions. They are being purchased for different reasons in the 2 scenarios, and the latter justifies a higher price, for those who choose to pay it.
Absent government stupidity, weather dependent sources wouldn’t “sell” at all. Without the government’s gun to their heads, no utility would buy the first kilowatt of weather dependent power generation.
Where are the lions, lionesses, and unPlanned cubs playing in gay abandon? A month without pride.
I know, right? I bought a pride to celebrate the month and it was costing me a bloody fortune to feed them all.
But then I got some relief on the butcher’s bill when I took them all down to the local Pride Parade.
That helped out the wallet, but nobody seemed to appreciate me showing my Pride. It seemed to cut short all the festivities. And the screaming was starting to affect their appetites. They didn’t eat near as much as they needed to.
Well, Mum always said I was to eat all the greens!
Our eldest didn’t want to eat his greens when young. His reasoning….
“Green is the colour of ill people and you don’t eat them”
This thread is going down hill and fast.
In the words of Frank Drebin.
“I love it”
If I understand this correctly, Shell is becoming an electricity broker using others’ existing renewable facilities and infrastructure. Either they see profit in managing it correctly, or the subsidies are too big to ignore, or they’re virtue signaling to quiet the Green machine.
D. All of the above.
More money. Fewer Green headaches.
It’s definitely a Shell game in which all of us will pay & pay & pay…
Speaking of shell games, why can’t Shell simply claim that electricity generated by fossil fuels now identifies as “green energy”? I mean, if people are so gullible that they would believe parents who claim that their infant son identified as a girl before the child even learned to speak, why can’t energy identify as green? Apparently, it doesn’t need to use words.
I suspect in the bizarro world of carbon accounting, simply being the middleman selling “green” energy counts towards their renewable target percentages.
This reminds me of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers”. What stops a utility from selling several time the “green” energy they actually produce?
“For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” –Warren Buffet cited by U.S. News/Nancy Pfotenhauer
ExxonMobil reached that same conclusion 15 years ago after T. Boone Pickins pitched them on a huge wind farm in Roberts County, Texas (supposedly the windiest county in America on a 24/7/365 basis). It just barely made economic sense even with the tax credits.
Going off the article, if they bought out a Houston retailer, then the power comes from Centerpoint (based on the map graphic). So the electrons will come from wherever Centerpoint gets them from. Maybe we’ll get a deep dive after this gets rolled out. It smells like a big scam. Execs will get to claim ESG goals met and get their bonus, even though this is all B.S.
Maybe Shell has the solution to what to do with all the energy produced by unreliable green sources when it’s not needed on the grid – claim carbon credits!
No need for expensive batteries, pumped storage or stacking concrete blocks.
Update from the linked article. They can buy outdated NECs for penny’s and claim they are green. Confirmed, this is a scam that allows exec to hit their ESG goals and get their stock options.
“The approach in the United States has been criticized as insufficient to meet global climate goals…”
Why bother to try to meet “climate goals”?
I have a WW2 PC game that I like. I haven’t much time to play it lately but I can manipulate things to have the USA speaking either German or Japanese.
The computer simulations are no reason to launch a nuke attack on Berlin or Tokyo in real life. (No nukes in the game.)
CAGW and it’s solutions are all computer generated scenarios. No need to nuke the economy in real life to prevent a doomsday fantasy.
If “the science” was followed with “renewables” they would only be allowed on the grid backed by storage to remove the intermittency relative to the backup sources. For example, if a wind farm is backed by a coal plant that takes X hours to fire up, then the wind farm would be required to have X hours of charged storage at all times. All those costs (additional wind generation and storage) would then be added to the wind generation – easy comparable accounting. Instead we get fake renewable generation costs which skew the decision making.
Quick sidenote on that Marine helmet; the bullets show the colors of the spectrum in order but are missing Violet.
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue. Indigo… where’s Violet?!?
I was going to comment on the sad state of education, but then I remembered that the purpose of the Marines is to k!ll people and break things so I gave them a pass.
I’m just glad the picture of the colored rainbow of bullet points stuck in the camouflage helmet weren’t lipstick.
Could be Lloyd Austin’s next move to improve morale, combat readiness and make Putin and Xi tremble in fear.
They’d really need camo colours as those colours would make them an easy target, or is that the plan?
“OH NO I cannot wear these horrible greens and greys they clash so with my lovely lippy, I want pinks, yellows and reds to look my best for the boys”
Kenny Everett great fun and sadly missed.
Greenwashing has its benefits.
Great article, as always, David! One of these days, reality will come calling and the populist appeasements and subsidy-harvesting carried out by these corporate clowns will bite them in the butt! The sooner, the better!
When reality comes calling, it’s rarely a friendly visit.
So true. Reality is presenting calling on Biden, and it isn’t pretty.
We have to remember that this is all about carbon dioxide affecting the weather which it doesn’t . So let’s relax.
This isn’t about CO2 affecting weather, it’s about government controlling markets.
And execs hitting their ESG goals and collecting their bonuses and stock option awards.
Any company with ESG goals, forced or unforced, should be divested immediately. Their sole duty under US law is to maximize their shareholder financial returns long term per SEC Act of 1934. No matter what Biden’s presently confused SEC might think otherwise.
“carbon dioxide affecting the weather” is like one of those slogans put on a campaign button. Something simple minded to distract people from asking real question.Just do the rah rah for the cause and never mind the real reasons for the program: the political power grab.
It is supposed to affect climate, not weather. Weather just is. Climate is weather ‘averaged’ over at least 30 years. And for the last 30 years:
They said that about the Nazis, who were as obsessed with Jews as Greens are about “greenhouse gases” and look how that turned out.
You can’t relax when liars and con men run rampant, and eventually score political control.
Worked for Shell back in the 70’s and 80’s. They were a prog/PC company back then and they only seem to have gotten worse. Bookout was their last technically-minded CEO and used to say that an oil company not increasing its proved reserves is in the process of liquidation.
Big Oil should have bought out Big Green a long time ago and killed it dead … well … put it in suspended animation
Are you referring to Word Salad Bob aka Big Oil Bob?
That’s big oily boob
He has to show up soon. It’s a David Middleton post.
Bless his little heart.
This whole mess would end tomorrow if solar and wind were required to generate their own backup energy. That those lazy buggers are allowed to push off their shortfalls on dependable/dispatchable fossil fuel and nuclear is criminal.
One more thing, that these miserable scoundrels are bragging about what they have done in Europe while at the same time Europe is on it’s knees begging anyone and everyone for help with it’s energy shortage is disgraceful. All the time sitting on their own energy resources and not using them, they are a disgrace. Never mind those numbskulls shutting down perfectly good and safe nuclear generators. These people are beyond deplorable.
Bob I could not have stated it better. + 1,000
Especially the part about having to generate their own energy (fossil fuel or nuclear) instead of pretending with the unreliables.
“Let’s become like Europe!”. As Europe tries to get its hands on every drop of American LNG it can to avoid freezing to death this winter.
After the LNG plant fire taking many months to repair, there will be a lot fewer drops available for Europe this winter. Is ok by me, as my next winter nat gas heating price already dropped from $9/mbtu to $7 in just two weeks. Gonna wait another month and then lock in either via my supplier NICOR or via nat gas futures. Last year NICOR did not offer their customary winter lock in, because they saw the price risk mess in Europe (and thanks FJB) several months before the Ukraine invasion.
Having studied this climate change business for several years, and having moved to Florida in order to get away from that terrible global warming up north, I have noted with interest the somewhat longer, colder winter past up north; the unusual cold start to winter south of the equator, and it appears that here in Florida we are having some unusually hot days for the start of summer. All of that sounds to me like the start of the next big ice age; short, hot summers and long cold winters.
All of the above, of course, keeping in mind that spectacular planetary conjunction a year and a half ago with Jupiter and Saturn close together one December evening, working to pull earth away from the sun and stretch out earth’s orbit. Appears to me to be the start of the next BIG ice age finally here.
I would love for some shareholder to ask at the Shell ( or BP ) AGM,” Please can one of the the Board members explain to me how CO2 will be responsible for the as yet to appear CAGW? ”
I wouldn’t bet on any of them giving any kind of answer.
Maybe the answer is not having Texas under one “grid”.
Rather, have redundancy & diversity of electric power generation, including gas, oil and coal (and others) in smaller, regional, independent systems (but able to help out overall), so the state of Texas doesn’t have one big giant collapse.
(or rolling brown & black outs.)
But that would be too easy.
Enjoyed this post greatly. The virtue signaling convolutions of some of the big oil majors ‘going green’ is beyond funny. But it does help identify where and where not to invest in them. BP, nope. Now Shell, nope.
Shell recently completed the sale of most of its Deer Park Refinery to PEMEX. Shell does retain ownership of some of the more profitable units at the Deer Park Refinery.
Here is a current example of renewable electricity pricing
Tango Energy in Victoria Australia is offering 100% renewable energy deals for Victorian consumers at a price 12% above the standard retail electricity price known as the Victorian Default Offer. Alternatively, you can find many deals that offer 16% discounts off the VDO.
Tango is owned by Pacific Hydro that was acquired by the State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) through its subsidiary State Power Investment Overseas of China (SPIC Overseas) in January 2016.
”…decline in energy security and independence that may come with a swift transition to green energy.”
Yes. As we know all too well here in Australia.
When you produce oil and gas as a business, the major use of which is burning it, thus making CO2….isn’t it obvious that “net zero” for your own production operations is just a stepping stone to zero hydrocarbon product being produced.
So far the oil companies don’t see a drop in product demand, so believe that their lip service to government “net zero” goals will result in huge government subsidies for sequestration, electric pump jacks, and so on…and the day of being forced to shut down will never come.
But its pretty clear, for example, that a modular nuke reactor would be required to provide electric heat for the reboilers in a refinery as opposed to todays gas fired heating systems….reducing the refinery natural gas consumption….allowing higher natural gas sales by the company….while the companies collect green dollars for going “net zero”…this concept just isn’t going to make it past the scrutiny of the green gatekeepers, especially those whose goal is to shut down fossil fuels….which is actually all of them…
According to the EIA’s 2021 International Energy Outlook, fossil fuels will still account for about 70% of global primary energy consumption in 2050.
That there actually is funny, but not for the reason you think.
Please elaborate… Your explanation will undoubtedly make me break out my other Larry the Cable Guy meme… Or my Tommy Lee Jones Implied Facepalm meme.
Loydo is going to help me with this problem.
I can imagine somewhere in the world there is a person or team working on a device as important to energy as the iPhone has been to communications. Can the young people reading imagine standing inside a tall skinny box and making a phone call? Yeah, right?
Cartoon police detective Dick Tracy first used his two-way wrist radio in a January 1946 strip. 61 years later Apple engineers made it work.
Anyway, I can imagine all sorts of strange things. Somehow, imagining an all-new non-carbon society in the next 28 years just doesn’t come into focus.
I won’t be around in 2050 (28 years) but a glimpse would be nice.
“So, we can add Shell Energy Solutions to the list of more than 70 retail electricity providers in Texas, most of which, if not all, already offer variations of green energy scams.”Maybe they are going to sell like at least one retail electric supplier offered in Texas. They let you buy the wind generated electrons. Do they have an electron centrifuge?
From the article: “once renewables become the norm and oil and gas slowly but surely become overshadowed and then obsolete.”
The article featured at the beginning of this article was written by Haley Zaremba. She has written a number of articles for Oilprice.com that make claims about renewables that make my BS meter start screaming. I have attempted to locate contact information for her but have been unsuccessful. Not sure if she is uninformed or misinformed or worse.
She’s not as dumb as Nick Cunningham, who fortunately left OilPrice to write for Grist… a more appropriate venue for his ilk.
I don’t understand the EIA IEO graph at all. It looks like renewables (the broad green band?) are well in the lead. What is all the brown stuff, and are those dead fish in it? It probably took 20 DOE bureaucrats averaging $120,000/yr incomes to draw it.
I made the stacked area graph in Excel, using the EIA data. Being on top on a stacked area graph isn’t being in the lead. Area is what matters. Renewables cover about 25% of the area in 2050. Fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas & coal), depicted with fish fossils, cover about 70% of the area in 2050.
Maybe Shell should stick to its knitting – oil’n’gas, innit. Remember Go well, go Shell? Not quite as catchy as the classic ” Nothing sucks like an Electrolux ” though.
I have asked many people many times and never got a clear answer to my question what do you do when the wind isn’t blowing and it’s night or cloudy how do unreliables maintain the grid.
The answers are mostly mumbled and include batteries in some form but are long on hope and short on facts, very sad the saddest being more windmills in some sort of hope that the wind must be blowing somewhere maybe the end of the rainbow?