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Masdar pledges $1.2bn for UK’s battery storage industry

Masdar's base of Masdar City is focused on sustainability REUTERS/SCMP
The bonds launched at a spread of 115 bps over US Treasuries from initial guidance of 150 bps
  • UAE state’s renewable energy giant invests heavily
  • Announcement made during International Energy Week in London
  • UK is Masdar’s ‘global hub’ for battery storage

UAE state-owned renewable energy giant Masdar has reaffirmed its commitment to developing the UK’s battery storage industry with a $1.21 billion capital investment. 

Speaking on the second day of International Energy Week in London, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar said: “I’d like to announce that we have committed to deploy £1 billion across the UK to accelerate battery storage solutions – and we are looking for partnerships.

“But, of course, we need the UK government to accelerate approving permit points and connection points to help us deploy that capital – the team is there, the locations are there, the technology will of course always become more efficient, however it’s also there.” 

Al Ramahi said that the formal announcement regarding the latest capital deployment would be made next week, but stressed that the Abu Dhabi business wants to deploy it through partnerships with UK companies. 

“Both the momentum and capital are there,” he said. “However, we also need to create opportunities and that doesn’t work without partnerships.

“We have never ever, throughout our history – even though we have the capital – worked alone. All the projects we have delivered in the UK have been done with partners.

“We believe in the United Kingdom. The UK is our hub for two main things – it’s our global hub for global offshore and it’s our global hub for battery storage. Arlington is a great example of us believing in new technologies.” 

Masdar last October acquired leading UK battery storage system specialist Arlington as part of its strategy to expand its presence in the European renewables market. 

At the Energy Storage Summit held in London last week, Matt Clare, CEO of UK developer Masdar Arlington Energy, pointed out the challenges posed by battery storage supply chain issues in the UK. 

“You have transformer delays, battery delays etc,” Clare said.

“Trying to tie all that up with an asset class that, if you get it online too early it sits there and degrades, is challenging.

“We have problems with BESS [battery energy storage system] that did not exist with other supply chains.” 

Al Ramahi noted in the panel discussion on Wednesday: “I believe the most critical thing is creating opportunity. We live in a world where sometimes we have capital and the plans but there are so many barriers to actually executing them. 

“The good thing is that we are optimistic about the future. There’s no going back – we all know that, we are all bought in.” 

Al Ramahi also noted that Masdar is pushing ahead beyond battery storage with its development in other areas of renewable technology. “I’ve just returned from Jakarta where we have become a strategic investor in one of the world’s largest geothermal platforms in Indonesia and in fact in the world,” he said.

Masdar last month announced it had invested in Jakarta-based Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE).