Great britain: royals wave hundreds of millions of pounds from wind farm deals

Great britain: royals wave hundreds of millions of pounds from wind farm deals

The sale of wind farm rights off the British coast also to German corporations could multiply the income of the royal family. The deal, announced Monday, will potentially bring the Royals up to 220 million pounds (about 250 million euros) annually over the next decade – two and a half times their current maintenance. One of the conditions is that the government does not change the amount of the so called Sovereign Grant, the royals’ share of the profits of their property manager Crown Estate, in the next review.

RWE and EnBW involved

Several energy companies, including RWE and EnBW, have secured land for high option fees to build offshore wind farms on the seabed in the Twelve Mile Zone, owned by the Konigshaus and managed by the Crown Estate.

The money raised does not belong to the Queen and her family personally, but is used for their livelihood and the upkeep of their estates. The revenues go to the state, which then pays out the Sovereign Grant to the Crown. Since 2017, this has been 25 percent – equivalent to around 220 million pounds of the annual option fee of 879 million pounds. In this financial year, for example, it amounts to 86 million pounds. It is calculated from the income of the previous year, currently the fiscal year 2018.

Rough offshore offensive

EnBW has teamed up with British energy giant BP for its project. BP stressed that the group will avoid payment for the maximum term of ten years. It said a final investment decision should be made within four years and power generated after seven years. Then the rent due to the Crown Estate was dropped to two percent of the wind farm turnover. The specific projects have yet to be approved, and environmental studies, among other things, are pending.

For years, EnBW has been expanding its renewable energy business. By 2025, a good half of the generation portfolio is to be made up of renewable energies. This is linked to investments in the billions. In addition to large-scale wind turbine plants, for example in the Baltic Sea, the program also includes international projects, for example in the USA and Taiwan.

EnBW CEO Frank Mastiaux reminded that Great Britain is currently the world’s largest offshore market. In addition, with BP, the company has a strong "and internationally experienced partner in the offshore business". The two offshore wind farms, which EnBW and BP are planning in equal parts, are to have a total capacity of three gigawatts.

Renewable energies in the UK

For the UK, the total of four projects with the various energy companies – two in the Irish Sea and two in the North Sea – represent an important step on the road to green energy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to supply all households with electricity from offshore wind farms by 2030.

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