King Charles to divert wind farm royal profits for wider public good

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have been informed of the King's decision as they are responsible for formally setting the annual share of the Sovereign Grant.
King Charles
King CharlesIANS

LONDON : King Charles wants proceeds from a new multi-million-pound wind farm deal struck by the Crown Estate, profits from which fund Britain's royal family, to be used for the “wider public good”, according to a Buckingham Palace statement on Thursday.

The 74-year-old monarch, a keen proponent of renewable energy, wants any boost of profits expected from the agreements struck for six offshore wind projects not to be used to boost the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant – which is made up of 25 per cent of the Crown Estate’s annual profits to meet the expenses of the country's royal household.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have been informed of the King’s decision as they are responsible for formally setting the annual share of the Sovereign Grant.

"In view of the offshore energy windfall, the keeper of the privy purse has written to the Prime Minister and Chancellor to share the King's wish that this windfall be directed for the wider public good, rather than to the Sovereign Grant, through an appropriate reduction in the proportion of Crown Estate surplus that funds the Sovereign Grant," reads the Buckingham Palace statement.

The decision is seen as a sign of King Charles’ intention to mark his own stamp on the British monarchy and focus attention on projects close to his heart.

The Crown Estate announced the agreements for offshore wind energy on Thursday as a "landmark" move that could begin to generate green electricity by the end of the decade, with the potential to power seven million homes.

Three of the six projects are located off the North Wales, Cumbria, and Lancashire coast, and three are located in the North Sea off the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coast of England.

“The UK’s offshore wind achievements to date are nothing short of remarkable, and this next generation of projects points to an even more exciting and dynamic future,” said Dan Labbad, CEO of the Crown Estate.

“They demonstrate the far-reaching value that our world-class offshore wind sector can deliver for the nation: homegrown energy for all, jobs and investment for communities, revenue for the taxpayer, clean energy for the benefit of the environment and a considerate, sustainable approach which respects our rich biodiversity,” he said.

The latest set of agreements, worth around GBP 1 billion, is the culmination of the Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 and follows three previous leasing rounds aimed at paving the way for the development of a world-class offshore wind market in the UK.

The Crown Estate said, alongside investment in cutting-edge data and evidence, it has now awarded rights totalling 41GW.

UK Minister for Energy and Climate Graham Stuart said: "Britain's position as the European leader in offshore wind shows no signs of letting up. These six projects demonstrate how areas across the UK can contribute to ensuring Britain meets its world-leading ambition of deploying up to 50GW of offshore wind by 2030." "Offshore wind is at the heart of our goal to secure clean, affordable, and resilient energy supply for all in the UK while bringing major business, investment, and job opportunities along with it.” With agreements signed, developers can now further progress their plans for the projects which are said to have the potential to make a major contribution to delivering sustainable, renewable energy, and meet the UK government’s target of 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. PTI AK FZH FZH

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