Portugal & Spain commit £19 billion to UK wind and solar


Generation investments totalling nearly £19 billon announced around premier Johnson’s energy investment summit this week show Iberian confidence in British renewables.

Via its Scottish Power Renewables division, Spanish utility Iberdrola confirmed yesterday a £6 billion investment in the East Anglia Hub complex, a three stage, 3.8MW wind farm across four sites up to 70km off Great Yarmouth.

And on Monday, generator-retailer Energias de Portugal pledged a further £12.9  billion by 2030, seeking to extend the 1.9GW of offshore wind its EDP Renovaveis arm is already building or planning around the UK.

The new money is in addition to the £2.6 billion EDP has committed to its Ocean Winds joint venture with Engie in the Moray East and West offshore developments.  The Portuguese firm has earmarked a further £2 billion to be spent before next year, when construction of the farms begins.

“The UK is a core market for us. We like it because it is stable, predictable and there is a long term vision,” Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade, chief executive of EDP and EDPR, told Reuters in an interview.

In onshore wind alone,  EDP said it plans to invest around £0.67 billion in UK projects over the next five years.  In July, it acquired wind and solar portfolios with a combined capacity of 544MW.

EDP said it is negotiating with local partners over 200 MW of onshore projects.  Ventures of between 30MW and 70MW size in Scotland and northern England top the Portuguese wish list, Stilwell d’Andrade indicated.

Iberdrola’s £6 billion investment in the East Anglia Hub will be, in the words of chairman Ignacio Galán “..a significant step toward ensuring that offshore wind is able to produce enough clean energy to power all the households in the UK by 2030”.

“The East Anglia Hub complex is an example of how companies can support the British government’s net-zero ambitions within a predictable, stable framework.”

Spain’s government is targeting 2025 to quit coal-fired generation at home, after closing 4 GW of capacity last year alone.  Nuclear is also marked for decline.  Last year reactors made 22% of Spain’s energy. Madrid intends accelerated shutdowns after 2027, reducing that share to 8% by the decade’s end.


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