MONACO - Oil companies can wrest the initiative from the green lobby by making the clean fuels of the future at their own refineries, but they will need to act quickly if they are to stay ahead of the game, a Royal Dutch/Shell executive said.
Hydrogen is likely to be a vital clean source of energy, Michiel Boersma, the head of Shell's Global Solutions consultancy, told an industry conference here on Friday, June 7.
But he said producing it through the solar-powered electrolysis of water, as green groups would like, would remain costly and difficult for a long time.
"Refineries can convert fossil fuels to usable hydrogen by gasification far cheaper than the solar model," Boersma said.
"Refiners must act now to spearhead the change, and they can become the bridge toward a sustainable energy future," he said.