Masdar acquires Arlington Energy to expand presence in UK

The deal will help to accelerate the clean energy transition in Europe and Britain

A solar power plant in the Abu Dhabi desert. Clean energy investment is expected to top $1.4 trillion in 2022. Wam
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Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar has acquired London-based energy storage developer Arlington Energy, as it continues to expand its presence across renewable energy markets in the UK and Europe as countries focus on cutting emissions to limit global warming.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“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,” Mohamed Al Ramahi, chief executive of Masdar, said on Tuesday.

London-based Arlington Energy specialises in the development of battery energy storage systems, known as Bess – devices that enable energy from renewables, such as solar and wind, to be stored and then released when power demand rises.

Global investment in battery energy storage reached almost $10 billion in 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report last month.

Battery energy storage investment is expected to hit a record high of $20bn in 2022, based on the existing pipeline of projects and new capacity targets set by governments.

“The rapid scaling up of energy storage systems will be critical to address the hour‐to‐hour variability of wind and solar PV electricity generation on the grid, especially as their share of generation increases rapidly in the net-zero scenario,” the IEA said.

As Europe, the UK and several other parts of the world face an energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, clean energy investment is expected to top $1.4 trillion in 2022, according to the Paris-based agency.

It now accounts for almost three quarters of the growth in overall energy investment and has been growing at an average annual rate of 12 per cent since 2020, the IEA added.

Masdar, which intends to increase its investment in offshore wind and other renewables projects, already has a substantial foothold in the UK market.

The company owns stakes in London Array, one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, and Hywind Scotland, the world’s first commercial-scale floating wind farm.

In 2019, Masdar also invested £35 million ($40m) in the UK’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, a £400m plan that aims to double the country’s number of electric vehicle charging points.

“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,” said Matthew Clare, director of Arlington Energy.

The UAE is investing Dh600 billion ($163.5bn) in clean and renewable energy projects over the next three decades as it aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The UK plans to decarbonise its electricity system by 2035 and become a net-zero consumer by 2050.

Updated: October 25, 2022, 2:39 PM