Offshore wind set for 15-fold increase: IEA

Offshore wind could become Europe’s largest single source of electricity. Above, the Walney Extension offshore wind farm operated by Orsted off the coast of Blackpool in Britain. (Reuters)
Updated 25 October 2019

Offshore wind set for 15-fold increase: IEA

  • The European Union and China are set to lead the transition toward more wind power,
  • EU’s capacity could jump as high as 180 gigawatts if member states reach their carbon-neutrality aims

PARIS: Offshore wind could become Europe’s largest single source of electricity and is set to increase 15-fold worldwide by 2040, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Friday.
In its annual assessment of the clean energy source, the IEA said that falling costs, supportive government policy and technological breakthroughs could see as much as $1 trillion (€900 billion) invested in growing capacity.
The EU and China are set to lead the transition toward more wind power, with offshore capacity in Europe set to surge from 20 to 130 gigawatts by 2040 under current policy and pricing.
The IEA said the EU’s capacity could jump as high as 180 gigawatts if member states reach their carbon-neutrality aims.
China’s capacity is predicted to rise from 4 gigawatts today to 110 by the same date, overtaking Britain as possessing the largest offshore wind fleet of any country.
“In the past decade, two major areas of technological innovation have been game-changers in the energy system by substantially driving down costs: the shale revolution and the rise of solar,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol.
“And offshore wind has the potential to join their ranks in terms of steep cost reduction.”
Offshore wind currently provides just 0.3 percent of global power generation, but as prices fall and investor confidence in long-term fossil fuel projects wavers, the zero-carbon technology is projected to rise in lockstep with insatiably growing energy demand.
The IEA said energy firms needed to develop bigger and more efficient turbines that would allow offshore wind to compete for price with natural gas and onshore wind.
Emissions from energy hit record levels in 2018.


Bank jobs go as HSBC and Emirates NBD reduce costs

Updated 15 November 2019

Bank jobs go as HSBC and Emirates NBD reduce costs

  • Others have also reduced headcount amid economic downturn and property market weakness

DUBAI: HSBC Holdings has laid off about 40 bankers in the UAE and Emirates NBD is cutting around 100 jobs, as banks in the Arab world’s second-biggest economy reduce costs.

The cuts come amid weak economic growth, especially in Dubai, which is suffering from a property downturn.

HSBC’s redundancies came after the London-based bank reported a sharp fall in earnings and warned of a costly restructuring, as interim CEO Noel Quinn seeks to tackle its problems head-on.

HSBC has about 3,000 staff in the UAE, part of a nearly 10,000-strong workforce in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

The cuts at Dubai’s largest lender Emirates NBD came in consumer sales and liabilities, one source said, while a second played down the significance of the move.

HSBC and Emirates NBD declined to comment.

“The cuts are part of cost cutting and rationalizing to drive efficiencies in a challenging market,” the second source said.

Other banks have also reduced staff this year. UAE central bank data shows local banks laid off 446 people in the 12 months until the end of September. Foreign banks added staff in the same period.

Staff at local banks account for over 80 percent of the 35,518 banking employees in the country.

The merger between Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union Commercial Bank and Al Hilal Bank saw hundreds of redundancies.

Commercial Bank International (CBI) said it would offer voluntary retirement to employees in September, which sources said saw over 100 departures. Standard Chartered, too, cut over 100 jobs in the UAE in September.

Rating agency Fitch warned in September a weakening property market would put more pressure on the UAE’s banking sector.