• Shell unveils new technologies for cleaner energy
Ejiofor Alike in Rio de Janeiro
with agency report
Despite the decision of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut crude oil production by 200,000-700,000 barrels per day to achieve price recovery, oil prices fell yesterday after the gains recorded on Wednesday.
This was just as Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, launched its “#makethefuture” programme, where it unveiled six new technologies from different youth entrepreneurs around the world to provide sustainable and cleaner energy than conventional energy sources.
OPEC agreed on Wednesday to implement modest oil output cuts in the first such deal since 2008, with the group’s leader Saudi Arabia softening its stance on arch-rival, Iran, amid mounting pressure from low oil prices.
Under the deal, OPEC would reduce output to a range of 32.5 million barrels per day to 33 million barrels per day from the current estimates of 33.24 million bpd.
The Wall Street Journal reported that OPEC’s surprise proposal prompted the largest gains in crude prices since April on Wednesday, but the rally ran out of steam as investors wondered if the cartel’s members would stand by an agreement.
Concerns have also been raised over how much sway the cartel now has over a market still brimming with crude from around the world.
The group reached an understanding at a meeting Wednesday in Algeria that there was a need to scale back production.
However, analysts also argued that the scope of the reduction—between 200,000 and 700,000 barrels a day—was inadequate to arrest the supply growth and bring balance back to the supply-demand dynamics.
OPEC members will wait until the next official meeting in November to complete the details, including the quota for individual producers.
But despite the agreement, Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, yesterday fell 0.8 per cent to $48.85 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.5 per cent at $46.85 a barrel.
Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s “#makethefuture” programme launched in Brazil yesterday was targeted at bringing bright energy ideas into action to benefit local communities around the world, and also highlighted the need for greater global collaboration to create more energy to meet the world’s growing population.
The six new energy solutions include: Pavegen, which converts kinetic energy generated by footsteps into electricity; and Capture Mobility, which converts human and vehicular traffic into electricity.
The Pavegen solution has been deployed in Nigeria where Shell built Africa’s first human and solar-powered football pitch at the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Lagos.
Others include GravityLight, which generates electricity from falling objects; Insolar, which provides communities easy access to solar energy; MotionECO, which turns waste cooking oil into energy; and Bio-bean, which converts waste coffee into energy.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Shell’s Global Head of Integrated Brand Communications, Malena Cutuli, identified the lack of access to cleaner energy as one of the greatest challenges facing the world.
She advocated the need for donors and sponsors to support entrepreneurs around the world to develop ideas and power of innovative options for communities to access cleaner energy.
“We want to improve our lives, our communities, and our countries, and we are constantly developing new technologies and methods to do so. But we thereby face a global problem: the more we reach for a brighter future, the more energy we consume along the way.
“Our current access to energy is neither enough to satisfy our growing energy needs, nor is it sustainable. The ways in which it is being provided now contribute to climate change, as well as costing the planet valuable resources. We need more and cleaner energy. But we can’t do it alone,” she explained.
She further stated that the “#makethefuture” campaign was the company’s call for collaboration to create smart energy solutions that would generate more and cleaner energy across the world.
“It is a privilege to see how ideas are transformed into realities,” she added.
“Working together, we are turning gravity into light, coffee into energy, cooking oil into fuel, footsteps and roofs into power sources, and roadside turbulence into electricity.
“Communities in Brazil, Kenya, China, United States and UK will experience, first hand, the benefits of these new sources of energy. And we will all see how a different future is possible, a future that is in our hands to create,” Cutuli said.
Also speaking, Shell Brazil’s External Relations Manager, Glauco Paiva, described Brazil as the world’s leader in the oil and gas business of exploration and production (E&P), adding that Brazil would host Shell’s Eco Marathon competition where any technology that consumes less energy would emerge the winner.
In an apparent justification of Shell’s investment in the project in the face of the slump in oil prices, Paiva noted that the energy need of the world’s population of seven billion would continue to grow, thereby providing justification for investment in renewables.
Six artistes selected across the world, including Nigeria’s award-winning Yemi Alade, Brazil’s Luan Santana and British singer, dancer, actress and song writer, Pixie Lott, performed at the event to promote cleaner energy solutions.
In his remark, the founder of Paven and British entrepreneur, Laurence Kembell-Cook, stated that his idea harnesses kinetic energy generated by footsteps to generate electricity.
According to him, before he built Africa’s first human and solar powered football pitch at the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Lagos in Nigeria, Shell and football icon, Pele, had helped Pavegen to launch the world’s first people-powered football pitch in Morro da Mineira, a favela in Rio de Janeiro, adding that the technology had been deployed in various high-football locations around the world.