Offshore wind powered 39% of UK homes in 2020

21st April 2021 | Commercial Energy

The UK offshore wind sector generated enough green electricity for 39% of UK homes (40.7 TWh) in 2020, up from 30% (32TWh) in 2019. According to The Crown Estate’s ninth Offshore Wind Operational Report, the market is progressing at pace to deliver a strong and sustainable pipeline in support of the nation’s net zero ambitions.

The study found that 3,000 turbines are now either in operation (76%) or construction (24%), a remarkable journey from when the first turbine was installed just over 20 years ago. Project capacity under construction increased by over 60% from 4.4GW to 7.2GW, the report found. This capacity is almost 70% of the existing operational fleet, signalling an extremely busy and significant period ahead

In addition, offshore transmission owner (OFTO) performance stood at 99.2% availability for 2019/20, well above the default level of 98%. Furthermore, the sector demonstrated its maturity and resilience, adapting quickly to ensure continuity of operations during extraordinarily difficult circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Technological progress also continues with phases A and B of Dogger Bank Windfarm to use the latest 13MW Haliade-X turbines; one rotation of which will produce enough electricity to power a UK home for two days.

The Broad Horizons report commissioned by The Crown Estate also points to how technological innovation, including floating wind technology, will expand the range of geographical possibilities for future offshore wind deployment. The Crown Estate’s head of offshore assets Adrian Fox said: “This year’s Offshore Wind Operational Report illustrates a mature and robust sector which has its sights firmly set on increasing its contribution to the nation’s net zero ambitions.

“The sector has stepped up admirably during an exceptionally difficult year caused by the global pandemic, demonstrating its resilience and ability to reliably deliver clean energy to millions of homes. The introduction of several new initiatives to collaborate across the sector is further evidence that those in the industry understand the challenges associated with an appetite for rapid growth, and are committed to working together to find sustainable ways to deliver it.”

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