Shell plans to become Brazil’s largest offshore wind developer

(file photo)

Posted on March 21, 2022 at 8:06 PM by

The Maritime Executive

In its effort to recast itself from fossil energy, Shell has announced an ambitious plan to develop new offshore wind projects off the coast of Brazil. The energy giant has announced that it has applied for environmental licenses from the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), which would make it the largest operator of offshore wind installations in the country.

Shell has proposed to build six wind power projects with a combined capacity of 17 gigawatts located along the coast in six states. These projects would give Shell the largest licensing capacity in Brazil, surpassing Ventos do Atlántico, which offers 15 GW across its five projects. Other majors, including Equinor and Petrobras, have also proposed a major offshore wind development for Brazil, with Ibama reporting that it is considering proposals for a total of around 80 gigawatts of offshore wind power generation.

“With more than 20 years of experience in wind power around the world and more than 50 years of tradition in offshore projects, Shell intends to combine its experience on these two fronts with the aim of bringing more energy and clean energy in the country,” said Gabriela Oliveira, head of renewable energy production for Shell in Brazil.

Shell said it plans to start environmental studies for offshore wind projects later this year. Currently, Shell, like all competitors for offshore wind licenses, is waiting for the Brazilian government to finalize regulations on offshore wind generation.

In January, the government issued a decree setting the rules for offshore wind power generation in Brazil. However, an analysis from Congress is still pending before the framework is finalized. Among the problems still to be solved is the connection of wind energy to the national grid. However, the government has defined the rules to allow the necessary offshore studies and the identification of suitable areas for the development of offshore wind projects. The Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy will be responsible for carrying out the studies, selecting the offshore wind areas and overseeing the auctions for the licenses.

As a major global oil company, Shell has come under fire from environmental activists. Last year, a district court in The Hague ruled that Shell had full responsibility for global efforts to mitigate the consequences of global warming. Shell already has investments in offshore wind farms operating in the Netherlands and small onshore wind farms in the United States. The company reports that it currently has 8GW of offshore wind in development, including recent moves to launch major projects in Scotland, the Celtic Sea and the United States. US offshore sector as well as investments in France and South Korea.

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