Picture used for illustrative purposes.
Masdar on Tuesday announced it has acquired the UK-based battery energy storage system (BESS) developer Arlington Energy. The acquisition will enable Masdar to expand its presence in the UK and European renewable energy markets and support countries’ net-zero objectives.
Based in London, Arlington Energy has a proven record in developing, building, operating and financing flexible energy solutions, having taken over 170 megawatts (MW) of assets through to operation in the past two years. Masdar’s acquisition of Arlington Energy will enable the development, construction, operational management, and financing of BESS projects under one Masdar-Arlington platform.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said, “Masdar and Arlington Energy share a long-standing belief that greater investment in energy storage is critical if countries are to expand their renewable energy portfolios and achieve their net-zero ambitions. By working together, we will be able to provide a more resilient and flexible energy resource, helping to accelerate the UK and other European countries’ clean energy transitions and supporting our efforts in expanding our offshore wind and broader renewables portfolio.”
Matthew Clare, Co-founder and Director of Arlington Energy, said, “Partnering with Masdar allows us to accelerate our BESS rollout in the UK and will make us the leading platform for energy storage. With Arlington’s experience in the procurement, construction and operational management of BESS, and Masdar’s global capabilities in renewable energy, combining forces is a natural progression.
“This partnership creates a business with huge potential, immediately capable of delivering at scale domestically, and in other markets in the future, as more nations join the UAE and UK in setting net-zero targets.”
Europe could need as much as 200 gigawatts of storage capacity by 2030 if it is to meet its renewable energy targets, according to a recent industry report. The UK alone may need as much as 50 GW of storage capacity by 2050 to achieve its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to the National Grid. BESS solutions provide flexible energy to the grid, helping to overcome renewables’ intermittency challenges, and allowing energy to be released during peak demand, helping to ensure system security while keeping consumer costs down.
Alongside the Arlington acquisition, Masdar intends to increase its investment in offshore wind and other renewable projects in new and existing markets, including the UK. Masdar is already a leading investor in the UK’s offshore wind sector, with stakes in London Array, one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms; the Dudgeon offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk; and Hywind Scotland, the world’s first commercial-scale floating wind farm.
Masdar is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy companies in the world, aiming to reach 100 GW total capacity by 2030, with ambitions to double that in the following years. In December 2021, the UAE government announced Abu Dhabi energy champions TAQA, ADNOC, and Mubadala are to join forces as shareholders in Masdar, creating a genuinely global clean energy powerhouse that will be a major force in renewables and green hydrogen.
Meanwhile, the UAE and UK have a global leadership opportunity in developing clean hydrogen, through a broad collaboration involving policy, innovation, trade, and investment, according to a new report launched today.
The report is a joint initiative between the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO) and Zest Associates, a UAE-based sustainability consultancy, and sponsored by HSBC. It draws on insights and studies from nearly 100 international hydrogen experts to prioritise 39 areas across policies, innovation, investment, infrastructure, supply, demand and skills, adding substantially to the world’s body of knowledge on the subject. Initial findings were shared at the World Green Economy Summit 2022.
By 2050, hydrogen is estimated to deliver more than $8.7 billion (Dhs 32 billion) annually to the UAE economy, and $14.8 billion (£13.7 billion) Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK, as well as over 100,000 new jobs in each country under high-adoption scenarios. These opportunities are driving multibillion-dollar investments individually and jointly, through bilateral agreements such as the strategic partnership between bp, ADNOC and Masdar to build low carbon hydrogen hubs like the UK’s H2Teesside. The report notes existing agreements like the £10 billion (AED 40 billion) UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership, signed by the UK Office for Investment and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, or the Memorandum of Cooperation on Industrial and Advanced Technologies Co-operation, signed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, could be enlarged and focused on hydrogen to match the scale of investment required to achieve net zero.