fresh funding

Houston energy company makes contribution to coastal region conservation

The Baker Hughes Foundation has again made a contribution to a nature organization.

The philanthropic arm to energy company Baker Hughes announced a $100,000 donation to the Coastal Prairie Conservancy. The grant will go toward supporting the preservation of coastal prairies, wetlands, farms, and ranches in Texas.

“Thriving natural ecosystems are essential for maintaining rich biodiversity, and we are committed to conserve and protect our natural resources,” Allyson Book, chief sustainability officer at Baker Hughes, says in a news release. “Coastal Prairie Conservancy preserves and safeguards the ecosystems in the Greater Houston area, and we are proud to partner with them.”

The grant was announced last week at the company's new headquarters grand opening.

The Coastal Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust that's work plays a big role in flood control, cleaner air and water, recreation, and wildlife habitat preservation.

“We are so grateful for this generous donation and meaningful partnership with the Baker Hughes Foundation. Not only will this funding allow the Coastal Prairie Conservancy to safeguard plants and animals and provide healthy grasslands and wetlands as homes, it also benefits people,” Coastal Prairie Conservancy President and CEO Mary Anne Piacentini says in the release. “Coastal prairie conservation and enhancement provide the public with access to nature, enhanced health and wellness, regional flood control, increased carbon capture, improved water quality, and climate resilience. We are proud to partner with the Baker Hughes Foundation to ensure healthy lands, healthy wildlife and healthy communities.”

In recent years, the Baker Hughes Foundation has contributed a combined total of $150,000 in habitat restoration support within the Texas Gulf Coast region. Earlier this year, the organization distributed funding to tree planting efforts, DEI hiring initiatives, and the University of Houston's Energy Transition Institute.

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A View From HETI

After recently divesting from wind and solar energy initiatives, Shell has plans to quadruple EV charging stations in the next several years. Photo via shell.com

As it downshifts sales of fuel for traditional vehicles, energy giant Shell is stepping up its commitment to public charging stations for electric vehicles.

In a new report on energy transition, Shells lays out an aggressive plan for growing its public network of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs). The company plans to boost the global number of public EV charging stations from about 54,000 today to around 70,000 by 2025 and about 200,000 by 2030.

The projected growth from today to 2030 would represent a 270 percent increase in the number of Shell-operated EV charging stations.

“We have a major competitive advantage in terms of locations, as our global network of service stations is one of the largest in the world,” Shell says in the report.

Shell’s global network of service stations is shrinking, though. In the report, the company reveals plans to close a total of 1,000 gas stations in 2024 and 2025. Today, more than 45,000 Shell-branded gas stations are located in over 90 countries.

Aside from Shell gas stations, the company’s Shell Recharge business unit operates public EV charging stations along streets, at grocery stores, and at other locations in 33 countries.

Shell, whose U.S. headquarters is in Houston, is ramping up its EV charging network amid forecasts of slowing demand for oil and rising demand for EVs. Other than EV charging, Shell is focusing on biofuels and integrated power as components of its revamped product mix.

“Shell is well positioned to become a profitable leader in public charging for electric vehicles, meeting the growing demand from drivers who need to charge on the go,” the report says.

To accelerate its EV charging presence in the U.S., Shell in 2023 purchased Volta, a San Francisco-based operator of EV charging stations. Shell says it now operates one of the largest public EV charging networks in the U.S., with more than 3,000 charging points in 31 states and another 3,400 under development.

“The availability of charging points will be critical for the growth in electric vehicles,” the report says.

Last month, Shell divested from a solar energy subsidiary, before later announcing an exit from a wind energy joint venture.

"In-line with our Powering Progress strategy, Shell continues to hone our portfolio of renewable generation projects in key markets where we have an advantaged position," Glenn Wright, senior vice president at Shell Energy Americas, said in a news release at the time.

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