On December 21, 2017, Royal Dutch Shell announced it was acquiring UK utility and broadband company FirstUtility as part of its plan to expand it business beyond simply producing and selling fossil fuels.  Now that the purchase has been completed, Shell said this week it will rebrand its new subsidiary and switch all of its existing customers electricity from renewable sources, according to a report by Reuters.

Shell renewable energy

In recent days, Shell has expressed its intention of becoming the world’s largest electric utility company while lowering its carbon footprint by 3%. Even if that decrease is minimal, it’s still more than ExxonMobil and the other oil majors are doing.

First Utility, which has around 710,000 energy customers in the UK, will now be known as Shell Energy and joins a small group of energy brands such as Bulb and Octopus Energy that offer all their customers 100% renewable electricity. Shell Energy will offer customers a 3% discount on gasoline and diesel at its large network of service stations. It will also offer discounts on electric vehicle charging.

The company says all of Shell Energy’s electricity will come from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and biofuels. Some CleanTechnica readers may quibble about whether biofuels should be classified as renewable energy, but it depends on the actual fuels used. Some truly are renewable while others are a cover for fossil fuels repackaged with a green label for the benefit of the gullible. Shell Energy will also continue supplying natural gas to its customers.

“We are building on the disruptive nature of First Utility to give customers something better. We know that renewable electricity is important to them and we are delivering,” Shell Energy Chief Executive Officer Colin Crooks said in a statement. He says it will invest about $2 billion a year in renewables and low carbon businesses as it bets on a rapid growth in demand as the world battles climate change.

Should we all go out and start celebrating in the streets because the renewable energy revolution is now complete? Hardly. There’s still a long way to go and short time to get there, but the trickle of good news is turning into a stream. How long before that stream turns into a river and then becomes a flood? Sooner than you may think.