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

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.
Updated 9 mins ago - Health

13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

13 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and state health departments. Kansas, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming surpassed records from the previous week.

The big picture: The pandemic is getting worse again across the country, and daily coronavirus cases have risen in the U.S. for six straight weeks, according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios.

Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.