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.

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EU threatens Belarus with sanctions amid third night of unrest

Belarus riot police detain protesters in Minsk on Tuesday. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union warned Tuesday it could reimpose sanctions on Belarus as riot police clashed for a third night with demonstrators protesting this week's elections that the EU described as "neither free nor fair," per the Guardian.

Why it matters: The EU removed most sanctions against Belarus four years ago, after "Europe's last dictator" Alexander Lukashenko released political prisoners and permitted protests, AP notes. The EU said in a statement Tuesday it would be "conducting an in-depth review" into its relations with former Soviet country over his elections win claim and the deadly crackdown on protesters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 20,284,882 — Total deaths: 741,126— Total recoveries: 12,585,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 5,141,208 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe

Ilhan Omar wins Minnesota primary

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) won the Democratic primary against lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux on Tuesday evening, AP reports.

Why it matters: The race is one that's played out across the U.S. as progressives continue to sweep party nominations. Omar's win officially means all four progressive members of "The Squad" have won their primary elections.