Taqa's funding along with that from Octopus Energy will get the subsea project off the ground. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The Abu Dhabi energy firm Taqa is committing Dh113 million (25 million pounds) into a renewables project in Morocco that will in the future provide 8 per cent of the UK’s power requirements from 2030 onwards.

Taqa’s funding for Xlinks First Ltd. comes along with a Dh22 million (5 million pound) contribution from Octopus Energy Group.

The Abu Dhabi company recently came up with a framework that would see it support financially renewables and clean energy ventures. Taqa incidentally is working on a high-voltage subsea cable in the emirate.

With this funding, Xlinks will undertake development of the world’s longest high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cables between the UK and Morocco. It will pass through Portugal, Spain and France as part of the Morocco – UK Power Project.

Octopus Energy Generation is one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy, managing a nearly 6 billion pound portfolio of such assets worldwide.

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It is one of multiple ‘first-of-a-kind’ long-distance renewable energy generation and cross-border export projects being planned globally.

Xlinks will supply the UK with 3.6GW of renewable energy-sourced electricity, making up nearly 8 per cent of the  current requirements and 'enough to power 7 million British homes by the end of the decade'.

The UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has set up a dedicated team to work with Xlinks to 'consider the merits of the project and understand how it could contribute to the UK’s energy security'.

When people ask ‘how will you power heat pumps and electric cars when it’s not windy?’- this is a big part of
the answer. This is a new global industry, and the UK and our partners can do it first, helping cement
Britain as a leader in the transition to low-cost renewable energy

- Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy Group

How the power generation will work

The electricity will be generated in the Guelmim Oued Noun region of Morocco by a 10.5GW facility of solar and wind farms, supported by 20GWh/5GW of battery storage. The facility will be connected to the UK power grid in Devon, South West England, via four 3,800-kilometre subsea HVDC cables. These will be manufactured in the UK.

The project will create around 10,000 jobs in Morocco during construction.

"As a champion of low carbon power and water, Taqa’s investment in the Xlinks project shows that we are serious about helping reduce emissions whilst maintaining the security of energy supply that societies depend on," said Jasim Husain Thabet, Taqa’s Group CEO and Managing Director. "We are already working on a large-scale HVDC subsea project in Abu Dhabi, and we own and operate one of the world’s largest solar PV plants.

"This investment offers the chance to bring both our infrastructure and renewable power expertise to the table to benefit the UK and Morocco.”