UK unveils £11 bn windfarm investment by UAE, German firms


(MENAFN- AFP)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced Friday plans by UAE state-owned renewables firm Masdar and German energy giant RWE to invest up to £11 billion ($14 billion) in a giant offshore windfarm.

The joint investment plans will help erect turbines at the UK's massive Dogger Bank site in the North Sea, he said at the COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

The long-planned offshore windfarm off the coast of Yorkshire in northern England, will be the largest in the world, the UK government claims.

Several other multinational companies are involved in ventures.

"I'm pleased to announce a new deal between Masdar and RWE, which includes a commitment to jointly invest up to £11 billion into the UK's new windfarm at Dogger Bank," said Sunak.

"This is a huge boost for UK renewables, creating more jobs, helping to power three million homes and increasing our energy security," he told a press conference on the fringes of COP28.

Masdar will purchase a 49-percent stake in RWE's 3.0 gigawatt (GW) projects at Dogger Bank South, both companies said.

The southern section is capable of powering three million typical UK homes, creating 2,000 jobs during construction and over 1,000 direct and indirect roles during its operational phase, it added.

The financial deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of next year, the state-owned UAE enterprise noted.

Sunak has come under pressure over his commitment to climate change mitigation this year, after softening several policies aimed at reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

But he used his appearance at the United Nations climate conference to defend those decisions and insist the UK was on course to meet its commitments.

"What I can reassure you is we're going to continue to do more than others going forward to," Sunak told reporters.

"We can meet targets that are already more ambitious than anyone elses but we can do so in a more pragmatic way," he added, noting the cost-of-living crisis impacting many Britons.

The British leader, struggling in the polls ahead of an expected general election next year, claimed no other world leaders at COP28 had raised his slew of recent rollbacks to UK climate policies.

"Because most of their targets are less ambitious than the UK's," he said.

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