Masdar has obtained a 35% stake in the Dudgeon wind project. Dudgeon is a 402 MW wind farm off the coast of Norfolk, East England, U.K. This will help the budding U.K. wind industry to take off.
The U.K. already has one of the greatest offshore wind industries in the world, and the Dudgeon project, which was done in partnership with Norway’s Statoil and Statkraft, will help it to grow even further. This is especially important as offshore wind projects face opposition and are criticized for their higher energy cost.
Offshore wind power is much more expensive than onshore wind power, however, this doesn’t mean it should be thrown out the window.
Every technology starts out expensive and has to go through the painful process of gaining recognition, economies of scale, and other technological advancements which reduce the higher upkeep cost of offshore wind turbines, such as the replacement of geared wind turbines with the mechanically simple gearless ones.
Now for the positive side of offshore wind: Offshore wind farms produce a more stable supply of electricity than onshore farms due to the fact that wind tends to be more consistent offshore.
The reduced power fluctuations mitigate the need for energy storage and that helps to compensate for the higher cost of offshore wind power. There is a good and bad side to everything!
According to WAM, Helge Lund, CEO of Statoil, said, ‘The Dudgeon Project represents an important part of Statoil’s renewable energy strategy, and it will generate value to the owners, the offshore wind industry and the U.K. community. Statoil brings extensive offshore competence, while Statkraft brings expertise from the power generation industry. Masdar’s experience and ambitions within renewable energy will add to the quality in this project.’
The U.K.’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, said, ‘Masdar’s investment is a strong endorsement of the U.K. as the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind – and it shows the Government’s plan for green growth is working. Since 2010 we have seen, on average, GBP7 billion a year invested in renewables and we expect to see up to GBP50 billion more between now and 2020.’
Masdar is an energy company based in Abu Dhabi which focuses on renewable energy development in the region.