Spain's largest electricity company and one of Europe's largest, Iberdrola, announced early on Tuesday a "strategic agreement" with Abu Dhabi to co-invest up to €15 billion in offshore wind and green hydrogen in three key markets: Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The pact follows the "successful" joint investment of both players in Baltic Eagle, a nearly 000-megawatt wind farm in Germany that will come online next year. The emirate will channel the funds through Masdar, its investment arm in renewables, which is owned by the state-owned oil company (the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company), the national electricity and gas company (Abu Dhabi National Energy Company) and the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, Cepsa's largest shareholder.
The agreement, sealed during the climate summit being held in Dubai, will have as its "first milestone" the joint investment of Iberdrola and Masdar in East Anglia 3, a 1,400 megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom "which is in the final phase of negotiation and could be signed by the end of the first quarter of 2024". According to the agreement, Abu Dhabi's participation in this project, which should come into operation by the end of 2026 and already has practically all its future energy sold at a price that will be updated with inflation, "could reach up to 49%".
This first joint foray will be followed by more projects, all of them in the field of offshore wind and green hydrogen. "Work is already underway to identify other opportunities," reads the statement in which both parties have made the pact public. The distribution of 51% and 49% thus follows the scheme followed by several Spanish energy companies, including Iberdrola itself, to allow investors with a lot of financial muscle – in many cases, as in this case, with origin in fossil fuels – to enter projects in which the original promoters guarantee control of the same and profitable maintenance tasks and achieve an injection of resources with which to invest in new wind farms.
"This innovative alliance today once again demonstrates our determination to continue increasing investments," said Iberdrola's chairman, Ignacio Sánchez Galán. "Combining our renewables expertise and financial strength with Masdar's will allow us to develop more megawatts of clean energy faster, more competitively and securely."
"With abundant wind resources, the UK and Europe are the main markets for Masdar," said Masdar's chief executive, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, who referred to Iberdrola as a "strategic partner". "At COP28, as the world looks to triple renewable energy capacity to secure a greener future, projects like East Anglia 3 show how we can reduce emissions."
Follow all the information from Economía y Negocios on Facebook and X, or in our weekly newsletter