In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, the Kincardine Offshore Wind, is now installed.
  • The IMF is undermining global climate goals by advising countries to invest in fossil fuels.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Offshore floating wind farm completed

The installation of the 50 megawatt (MW) Kincardine Offshore Wind farm, the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm 9 miles (15 km) off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland, is now complete. 

The wind farm consists of a 2 MW Vestas turbine and five 9.5 MW Vestas turbines.

It’s expected to generate up to 218 GWh of clean electricity each year, enough to power 55,000 households.

The Madrid-headquartered Cobra Wind was responsible for the commissioning, engineering, design, supply, and construction of the wind farm. The Navantia-Windar consortium in Spain manufactured the floating wind foundations. They were then transported to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, where the wind turbines were mounted on the foundations.

Read more: Biden administration opens up the US Pacific coast to offshore wind

Bad advice from the IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) describes itself as:

[A]n organization of 190 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

Yet the IMF has undermined global climate action by promoting fossil-fuel expansion through its policy advice, locking developing countries into a reliance on coal and gas that is harming their economies and the planet, according to new research by ActionAid USA and the UK-based NGO Bretton Woods Project.

The report, IMF Surveillance and Climate Change Transition Risksis based on analysis of all 595 Article IV reports conducted in the IMF’s 190 member countries between the signing of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 and March 2021. Article IV reports contain policy advice to countries that shapes their economies for years to come. The report found:

  • In more than half of all member countries (105), the IMF’s policy advice – since world leaders agreed to limit global warming to 1.5C through national action to reduce emissions – has supported the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. This leaves countries at risk of being left with “stranded assets,” such as coal plants that lose their value due to competition from clean energy, while setting a polluting pathway at odds with global climate goals and a just transition to renewables.
  • In more than one-third of countries (69), the IMF has advocated for the privatization of state-owned energy or electricity utilities to reduce public spending. Privatization can bind governments to long-term agreements with foreign investors and make it difficult for them to end fossil-based energy.
  • One-third of all countries were advised to end energy subsidies – an area that the IMF is increasingly positioning as a first step to decarbonizing economies. But the research found that the advice focuses mainly on consumer subsidies rather than ending benefits for fossil fuel production. With few alternatives to fossil-based energy and transport in most developing countries, this is unlikely to reduce emissions at scale, while pushing costs onto the shoulders of ordinary citizens – rather than tackling the generous subsidies given to fossil fuel companies.

Niranjali Amerasinghe, ActionAid USA executive director and climate finance expert, says:

The International Monetary Fund should ensure its policy advice makes it easier, not harder, for countries to transition to renewable energy.

Photo: Cobra Group

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About the Author

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.