The UAE’s clean energy company Masdar is partnering with the UK to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm in a $13.9bn project, it has been announced at COP28.
The deal sees Masdar take a 49 per cent stake in the renewables programme which will see turbines placed more than 100km off the east coast of England which, when fully operational, will power three million properties.
The financial details of the partnership, which also includes German construction firm RWE, have not been disclosed.
The UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the climate change summit at Expo City: ‘I’m pleased to announce a new deal between Masdar and RWE which includes a commitment to jointly invest up to £11billion ($13.9bn) into the UK’s new wind farm at Dogger Bank, which will be the biggest in the world.
‘This is a huge boost for UK renewables, creating more jobs, helping to power three million homes and increasing our energy security.’
Construction is planned to start in late 2025, with the first 800MW likely to come online in 2029. The entire development will be fully commissioned by the end of 2031.
Masdar said the transaction, which is subject to legal and governance approvals, will close in the first quarter of 2024.
‘The £11 billion joint investment will provide a huge boost to the UK economy and demonstrates the UAE’s long-term commitment to supporting net-zero goals in Britain and around the world,’ the company’s statement said. ‘It builds on the £10 billion UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership to invest in technology, infrastructure and the energy transition.’
The project is predicted to create 2,000 jobs during construction and more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs during operations.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Chairman of Masdar and Cop28 President, said: ‘As one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, the Dogger Bank South project will make a huge impact on reducing emissions while supplying millions of UK families and businesses with clean, affordable and secure energy.
‘The world needs to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030 if we are to keep the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees within reach.’
Sunak said he wants to raise Britain’s offshore wind output from the current 14GW to 50GW by 2030 – although escalating costs caused some projects to be scrapped and a subsidy auction to procure new projects this year failed to attract any bidders.
The British Government said it will increase the subsidies on offer in next year’s auction in order to underpin projects.
Sunak earlier announced a UK contribution of £1.6bn for international climate finance, including projects to halt deforestation and accelerate the transition to renewable energy.
But his attendance at COP28 comes amid some controversy after he scaled back a host of pledges designed to help the UK reach net zero by 2050 and vowed to ‘max out’ the UK’s oil and gas reserves by granting new North Sea drilling licences.