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Mon 19 Jan 2009 04:13 PM

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Weak pound forces re-evaluation of UK wind farm

Abu Dhabi senior exec says future of London Array project will be announced soon.

Doubts have emerged about the future of a UK wind farm project involving Abu Dhabi's Masdar after a senior executive said it would have to look again at the economics of the venture following a slide in the value of the pound against the US dollar.

But Masdar was working with its partners to complete a feasibility study for the London Array offshore wind farm project and hoped to make an announcement soon, Ziad Tassabehji, director of the utilities and asset management unit of Masdar, the renewable energy arm of the Abu Dhabi government said on Monday.

“At the time we made that commitment the pound was almost two dollars but the economics of the project now will have to be revisited,” he said at a press conference at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

“We are working very closely our with partners to complete the feasibility study for this project and we hope it would be able to make announcements soon.”

A joint venture agreement with E.ON, which owns 50 percent of the landmark project, the project will make a substantial contribution the UK government’s renewable energy target of providing 10 percent of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2010.

DONG Energy owns the remaining 50 percent of the project.

The wind farm would be built more than 20km off the Kent and Essex coasts, in the outer Thames Estuary.

The wind farm would be constructed in phases, and when fully complete would generate up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the electricity needs of 750,000 homes – around a quarter of Greater London or all of the homes in Kent and East Sussex.

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Stephen 11 years ago

Projects that have renewable and clean energy as a basis should not be subject to compromise based on exchange rates and economic conditions.. As human beings we have a moral obligation to reduce our dependence on convetional forms of energy... I sincerely hope that this project goes ahead irrespective of the economic situation. The environment and not profit or any other goal, should be the impetus behind this project. Yes it may work out more expensive, and maybe the ROI period will be longer, but the benefits to then environment far outweigh ROI.... The crux of the issue here is moral not financial

Paul Coombes 11 years ago

Stephen from Dubai, please tell me how we are supposed to generate power when there is no wind. On January 1 2009 there was not enough wind anywhere in the UK to turn a wind turbine. The only solution I am aware of is to have a back-up power station. If that is the case then why have the wind farms in the first place?

Stephen 11 years ago

“At the time we made that commitment the pound was almost two dollars but the economics of the project now will have to be revisited,” ......... “We are working very closely our with partners to complete the feasibility study for this project and we hope it would be able to make announcements soon.” ............. The quotes above are the crux of the issue according to this article. There is no mention of poor or no winds at all in the article. While I understand that you are based in the UK, I agree that you are more in touch with the pre-existing weather patterns there and I accept this issue is closer to home for you than it is for us here in the UAE. I would like to clarify, that the point I was pressing on, bearing in mind the facts of the article, was that investments into alternative forms of energy should not be determined by economic goals. This is a moral issue. We need to find alternative sources of energy that will assist us in reducing and eventually eliminating our dependency on current forms of energy. Perhaps Mr. Tom Arnold should investigate this issue further.....(Mr. Arnold... is wind the real issue here, or the weakening exchange rate as purported in the article?)