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Wind Energy Brings Joy to British Royals

Thanks to offshore wind energy, the Royal Family in Great Britain can rejoice: Their annual income is higher than ever.

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in London (Image: Pixabay)Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in London (Image: Pixabay)

The rules of a modern monarchy are complicated. In Great Britain, the Crown Estate is owned by the British Crown. Like the crown jewels, it belongs to the monarch in his/her capacity as head of state, but it's not his/her private property. The monarch can neither sell the Crown property him-/herself nor take the proceeds personally, because the Crown Estate Commissioners are in charge of the administration and are accountable to Parliament.

Thus the royal family is dependent on the British government allocating a sum each year to cover their living costs. This annual grant, known as the Sovereign Grant, in turn depends on how business with the Crown's property goes. Currently, the payment is equivalent to 25 per cent of the Crown Estate's profit.

Much of the portfolio consists of real estate that generated relatively little revenue last year. Nevertheless, the Crown Estate achieved a record profit last year - and this is where wind energy comes in. The Crown Estate owns a large part of the seabed off the coast of Great Britain.

"One of the Godsends of the Crown Estate is that they happen to own most of the coastline of the United Kingdom, and the seabed up to 12 miles out from the coast," Royal finance expert David McClure tells Global News Canada. "What they do with that land is they lease it out to energy companies. They, in turn, build wind farms."

Offshore wind power Great Britain - the Royals are delighted (Image: Pixabay)

The Brits are the world's leading offshore wind nation, having begun early to use their previous offshore knowledge from oil and gas production for wind energy. The leased areas of the Crown Estate generated 7.7 gigawatts of electricity last year, 200 MW more than in 2017. The Sovereign Grant from the British Treasury therefore amounted to 137 million dollars in 2018. Tendency: rising!

The UK have set themselves the target of expanding their offshore activities to such an extent by 2030 that one third of the electricity for the Kingdom comes from offshore wind. In addition, the UK government recently decided that the country should become a 'net zero emitter' of greenhouse gases by 2050, while the Scottish government wants achieve this target by 2045.

There are currently six projects in British waters in the top ten of the world's largest offshore wind farms, including the largest (Walney Extension, 659 MW) and second largest (London Array, 630 MW). The British Royal Family can therefore look forward to the future when a strong wind blows off the British coast.

Katrin Radtke
Great Britain, UK, Royal, Crown Estate, lease, seabed, offshore, wind energy, Sovereign Grant, income, percentage, profit, record

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