Global oil and gas trader Shell [RDSA:LN] has agreed to purchase a 49% equity in wind farm developer WestWind Energy’s Australian arm, as reported by Reuters on March 2. WestWind Energy has plans to develop a three-gigawatt (GW) wind project pipeline across Australia’s Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland, which could cost AUD6bn (USD4bn) to construct. Shell stated that the investment in wind farms accords with the company’s target of building low-carbon generation businesses in Australia.
Shell is pushing forward its energy transition after the Dutch court’s ruling in May 2021, which directed the company to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% by 2030 from the 2019 levels. The requirement outstripped Shell’s previous target of a 20% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, 45% by 2035, and 100% by 2050. Before the recent expansion in Australia’s renewables industry, Shell had purchased a 49% stake in Australian photovoltaic (PV) developer ESCO Pacific in December 2019, weeks after it bought out Australia’s major electricity retailer ERM Power with AUD617m (USD425m). The company targets Australia for the major growth of its green businesses, as the country aims for over 50% renewables in its energy mix by 2025 and 69% by 2030, compared with a 21% share in 2019.