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Photo: Osama Faisal/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell announced two new renewables deals on Wednesday, the latest sign that oil-and-gas behemoths — especially the European-based majors — are increasingly moving into the zero-carbon power space.

The big picture: It comes on the heels of a separate Shell-backed joint venture — this one with Portugal's EDP — submitting a $135 million winning bid Friday for a wind energy tract in federal waters off Massachusetts.

Driving the news: Shell unveiled a joint venture with EDF Renewables North America, an arm of France-based global power giant EDF Group, to develop a wind energy lease off New Jersey's coast.

  • Separately, Shell said it has acquired a 49% stake in Cleantech Solar, a Singapore-based developer with projects in southeast Asia and India. The costs were not disclosed.

Plus, on the solar front, early this year Shell said it's spending $217 million to acquire a 44% stake in the U.S. solar power developer and operator Silicon Ranch.

  • Shell has also been moving into EV charging and other power initiatives beyond its core oil-and-gas business.

But, but, but: Big Oil's clean energy investments remain a very small part of their portfolios.

The bottom line: For perspective, the amount oil majors as a group have spent on renewables since 2016 represents less than 3% of their exploration and production spending, according to Wood Mackenzie.

The consultancy said in a note this week that they expect renewables spending to grow just slightly in 2019.

  • "Companies and investors will be wary of backing the wrong horse in new energy. It’s a sector they are still trying to understand," said WoodMac analyst Tom Ellacott.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.

Marketing to Generation Alpha

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Marketers are pouring money into figuring out the tastes and habits of Generation Alpha — kids born from 2010 through 2024 — who are unprecedented in the extent they're growing up online.

Why it matters: They're weaned on TikTok, Amazon and in-app purchases. They're learning from their millennial parents to hold brands accountable for causes like social justice and sustainability. And no prior age cohort will be as large in size or marketing power.