By Adam Lashinsky, Fortune
Shell, the leader in oil and gas, says it will pursue solar power and other alternative energy—if that’s where the market is going.
Chad Holliday, chairman of oil giant Shell, said Monday the company aims to change according to data gathered by a new industry commission it is helping to form—even if the information leads it away from its current businesses. Shell will be part of the 16-member Energy Transitions Commission, which he announced at Fortune Brainstorm E, an energy and environment conference in Austin.
Holliday credited global consultant McKinsey for coming to the oil industry with the idea for the commission. He said it will look initially at issues like solar energy and air pollution. The goal, he said, is to paint [a] picture of where the energy industry is going—as opposed to where the oil industry would like it to go.
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About Brainstorm E – from Fortune’s CEO Daily Blog
The conference, which assembled several hundred business leaders and energy experts in Austin, Texas, is providing plenty of reason for optimism. Solar and wind energy are expanding faster than expected, thanks to the combination of rapidly falling prices and tax subsidies. Battery technology for energy storage is advancing. Efficiency gains have kept overall energy usage below 2007 levels. And new investments in technology promise more progress in the future. The conference also has highlighted efforts by business to encourage, and profit, from the change – including the creation of a new Energy Transitions Commission to help business gather data and make smart decisions about the rapidly changing energy environment.