Scotland's new floating wind park shows the power of the possible

Government and industry officials from Scotland, Norway and the UAE gathered in Aberdeen this week to announce a breakthrough in renewable energy. Three countries and a city synonymous with the oil and gas industry. Thanks to their expertise in fossil fuels, the world’s first commercial-scale floating wind park is now operational.

Hywind Scotland applies know-how from the development of deep offshore oil and gas rigs to offshore wind power technology. Far from the Scottish coastline, five wind turbines, each with a capacity of six megawatts, are now supplying electricity to an estimated 20,000 households.

To put the scale of these massive machines into perspective, the rotor blade of one turbine is more than twice the wingspan of an Airbus A380.

Viable in water depths of up to 800 metres, floating wind technology has the potential to unlock a number of new markets around the world for offshore wind energy development, especially in places where the coastal shelf is too deep to support traditional “fixed-bottom” offshore wind turbines standing on the seabed.

Crucially, the investment of Masdar in Hywind Scotland, positions the UAE at the forefront of this technology. Masdar is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company.


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The inauguration of Hywind Scotland wasn’t the only news event in Aberdeen recently. Masdar and its partners at Statoil will connect the wind park to an advanced lithium battery, “Batwind”, with a storage capacity of 1 megawatt-hour. That’s more charge than two million smartphones.

By helping to mitigate the intermittency of renewable energy, a persistent obstacle for developers, the wider industry impact of Batwind could be as dramatic as its name. Once again, through the investment of Masdar, the UAE is placed at the cutting-edge of electricity storage technology.

Hywind Scotland is Masdar’s second project with Statoil after the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, a fixed-bottom wind park sited off the coast of eastern England. Comprising 67 wind turbines, each one as big as those now floating off the coast of Aberdeenshire, Dudgeon will be officially unveiled next month.

Combined with Masdar’s investment in London Array, still the world’s largest offshore wind farm in operation, Hywind Scotland and Dudgeon will bring the total installed capacity of the UK-based wind energy projects in which Masdar is an investor to more than 1GW.

That is an impressive landmark for the UAE. It is also further evidence of the sound business strategy behind the UAE’s wider commitment to renewables: to commercialise advanced clean technologies by deploying them at scale.

Hywind Scotland, the world’s first commercial-scale floating wind park, and Batwind also illustrate the importance of bold policymaking. Scotland is the first  country to offer a specific scheme to support the development of floating wind technology.

Mutually rewarding partnerships between government and the private sector have been a feature of the oil and gas sector for decades. The unveiling of Hywind Scotland, to be followed by Batwind next year, show how they are increasingly bearing fruit for the renewable energy sector too.

Khaled Abdulla Al Qubaisi is Chief Executive Officer of the Aerospace, Renewables and Information Communications Technology platform at Mubadala Investment Company

Apple's Lockdown Mode at a glance

At launch, Lockdown Mode will include the following protections:

Messages: Most attachment types other than images are blocked. Some features, like link previews, are disabled

Web browsing: Certain complex web technologies, like just-in-time JavaScript compilation, are disabled unless the user excludes a trusted site from Lockdown Mode

Apple services: Incoming invitations and service requests, including FaceTime calls, are blocked if the user has not previously sent the initiator a call or request

Connectivity: Wired connections with a computer or accessory are blocked when an iPhone is locked

Configurations: Configuration profiles cannot be installed, and the device cannot enroll into mobile device management while Lockdown Mode is on

The Word for Woman is Wilderness
Abi Andrews, Serpent’s Tail

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Muguruza's singles career in stats

WTA titles 3

Prize money US$11,128,219 (Dh40,873,133.82)

Wins / losses 293 / 149

The specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cyl turbo and dual electric motors

Power: 300hp at 6,000rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,500-3,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.0L/100km

Price: from Dh199,900

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 201hp at 5,200rpm

Torque: 320Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.7L/100km

Price: Dh133,900

On sale: now

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5