Royal Dutch Shell is looking at opportunities in India to build its renewable energy portfolio, especially in light of the country’s renewable energy targets to be achieved over the next decade, according to Mark Gainsborough, executive vice- president, New Energies, Royal Dutch Shell.
“India has a very ambitious target for the growth of the renewable sector,” Mr. Gainsborough told The Hindu during a clean energy forum organised by Shell during its ‘Make the Future Singapore’ event.
“I think India is a really important market for renewables in the future. There is a huge opportunity there. There is a lot of coal being burnt there, which is a challenge and we are interested in looking at opportunities in India.”
“We already have a presence in the oil and gas business and potentially there is a good opportunity for us in the synergy with renewables,” Mr.Gainsborough added.
“It is one of the biggest growth markets in terms of growth in demand in power. So anybody who is interested in power will be interested in India,” he said.
One of the key issues with renewable energy, Mr.Gainsborough added, was that storage technology is currently not up to the mark.
“Batteries have a long way to go. To be cost effective storage there needs to be a lot of work,” he said. “The lithium ion batteries we use are good for only very short duration storage. And what you need is much longer storage.”
Speaking at the forum, John Abbott, downstream director and executive committee member, Royal Dutch Shell, spoke about the critical role gas will play in India’s energy mix in the coming years.
“Gas will play a very important role in helping India reach its aim of achieving 40% of its energy from renewables and clean sources by 2040,” Mr.Abbott said. “And biofuels will be key to the transport sector. Gas is cleaner during burning than coal and is the perfect partner for renewables. It is flexible and abundant.”
Mr Abbott said Shell planned to reduce its carbon emissions at its retail outlets by 50%, although he did not specify a timeframe for this.