With 33 fully operational offshore wind farms and further eight under construction at the end of 2017, the offshore wind sector is on track to grow its contribution to the UK’s electricity supply to 10% by 2020, according to the Crown Estate.
2GW of new capacity was added to UK offshore wind in 2017, of which 1.8 GW was operational by the end of the year. 372 offshore wind turbines were installed in UK waters between January and December 2017, according to the latest report by the Crown Estate.
“2017 has been a milestone year for the UK offshore wind sector, the busiest yet for construction, and delivering more electricity than ever before,” Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals & Infrastructure at the Crown Estate, said.
”This latest report showcases an increasingly mature sector, delivering large-scale, low-carbon power, with record low bid prices for future projects, making the most of the UK’s world-class seabed resources and creating jobs opportunities across the country.”
Overall, the UK had 6.9GW of operating offshore wind capacity at the end of 2017, generating 20.8TWh of electricity which translates to 6.2% of the country’s overall generation.
The update comes as the UK offshore wind industry works with the government on an ambitious vision for 2030, as part of the Offshore Wind sector deal, setting out plans to increase the operating capacity to 30GW by 2030s.
In November 2017, the Crown Estate announced plans to work with the offshore wind sector and stakeholders to consider making new seabed rights available to offshore wind developers. If new leasing is confirmed, a formal process could commence in late 2018 or early 2019.