In the lead-up to the COP26 climate conference, the U.K. is seeking to demonstrate its commitment to renewable energy. Among the projects is a commitment from Scottish Power, the subsidiary of Spanish energy major Iberdola to nearly double its investment in U.K. offshore wind. This came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson mapped out a sweeping program of investment by the government to deliver on its commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Iberdrola plans to invest approximately $8.25 billion for an offshore wind complex, which the company said will be its largest investment to date and the group's most substantial global investment. The investment will be used to create an offshore wind complex known as the East Anglia Hub. The complex would have an installed capacity of more than 3,000 MW, which will produce enough clean energy to supply the equivalent of more than 2.7 million households, contributing more than 7.5 percent to the target of 40,000 MW of installed power in the U.K. by 2030.
Iberdrola's chairman, Ignacio Galán, announced this undertaking at the Global Investment Summit organized by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The chairman of the energy company confirmed that, subject to obtaining the necessary permits, this new investment package will join a record $14 billion investment earmarked by the group in its 2020-2025 plan, enabling it to double its renewable generation capacity and drive decarbonization in the United Kingdom.
The East Anglia Hub, which will be Iberdrola's largest offshore wind development and one of the biggest projects of this type in the world, would consist of three wind farms off the east coast of England, East Anglia ONE North, East Anglia TWO, and East Anglia THREE. Currently, the East Anglia THREE project, with an installed power of 1,400 MW, has already secured planning permission. Applications for East Anglia ONE North (800 MW) and East Anglia TWO (900 MW) are currently under review by the Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. Subject to the outcome of this review, it is expected that construction work on the East Anglia Hub will start in 2023 and will be complete by 2026.
Plans for the new investments were announced as the Prime Minister also unveiled his Net Zero Strategy that sets out how the U.K. will achieve its commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Building on the previously announced 10 Point Plan, today’s U.K. Net Zero Strategy sets out a comprehensive economy-wide plan for how British businesses and consumers will be supported in making the transition to clean energy and green technology, said Johnson. Included in the strategy are elements for the electrification of vehicles, commercialization of sustainable aviation fuel, and efforts to accelerate industrial carbon capture and hydrogen.
“By moving first and taking bold action, we will build a defining competitive edge in electric vehicles, offshore wind, carbon capture technology, and more, whilst supporting people and businesses along the way,” said Johnson. “With the major climate summit COP26 just around the corner, our strategy sets the example for other countries to build back greener too as we lead the charge towards global net zero.”
Johnson said that the commitments made by the U.K. government will unlock up to $125 billion of private investment by 2030 all contributing to the country's renewable energy policies.