London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm

The wind power project powering half-a-million homes across the UK is a milestone for the UAE, according to a spokesperson at Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, which holds 20 per cent stake in the project.

Other global energy companies E.ON and DONG hold 30 and 25 per cent stakes respectively.

Accounting for 39 per cent of total offshore wind wnwegy capacity added globally during 2013, London Array underscores the UAE’s role as an energy player beyond hydrocarbons.

Completion of London Array showcases how the UAE is an energy trailblazer, by delivering both renewable energy across international markets and continuing its leadership as a reliable hydrocarbon exporter. And through Masdar, the UAE is now generating nearly one gigawatt of clean power globally.

According to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance report renewable energy may secure two-thirds of the projected $7.7 trillion (Dh 28.26 trillion) that will be invested in new power generation capacity by 2030. This signals the cost of renewable technology to continue falling, making it more cost competitive compared to traditional sources of power.

Broadening the UAE’s energy influence globally promises to also pay long-term economic and social dividends. Mega-engineering projects, like London Array, create highly skilled domestic jobs not only in the UK, but also domestically — enabling the UAE to compete in the 21st century economy — as well as supporting the concerted effort to diversify the local economy.

London Array project took 12 years to reach its final shape from the conceptual stage. From in-depth environmental studies to erecting giant wind turbines into the sea bed, careful planning and engineering went into its successful delivery. The expertise and knowledge gained from the project also reinforces the UAE’s ability to support the acceleration of renewable energy nearer to home and across the Gulf. “And it’s already happening,” the Masdar spokesperson said.

As the regional first-mover, the UAE is exporting its knowledge capital to its neighbours. Just last month Masdar and Saudi Arabia’s KACARE (King Abdullah City of Atomic and Renewable Energy) signed an agreement to collaborate on regional renewable energy deployment. As other GCC countries enter the race to develop renewable energy, the UAE’s know-how should be a valuable resource to support the development of wind and solar power for mutual benefit.

Diversifying the energy mix and investing in renewable energy will play an important role in powering economies, reducing carbon emissions and generating growth opportunities. With projects like London Array completed, Masdar continues to strengthen the UAE’s reputation and role as an energy partner of choice, according to the spokesperson.