Including all projects currently planned, under construction, or in operation, the UK now has over 10 GW of offshore wind.
This comes from RenewableUK, the country’s trade organization representing the wind industry, after announcements were made by Siemens and DONG Energy last week that bumped the country’s secured offshore wind capacity up over 10 GW.
Last week DONG Energy announced that it had consented to build the 660 MW Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm which, upon conclusion, will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world (at least for a little while). DONG Energy appointed MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and Siemens to provide turbines for the project, which is expected to be commissioned in 2018.
The news was quickly followed by another announcement from Siemens, which had received an order for 56 of its 6 MW wind turbines for the 336 MW Galloper Wind Farm, set to be developed off the southeast coast of England by its developers RWE, the UK Green Investment Bank, Macquarie Capital, and Siemens Financial Services.
“The UK is the number one destination for offshore wind investors,” said Dr Gordon Edge, RenewableUK’s Director of Policy for Economics and Regulation. “This week’s two major announcements of offshore wind projects achieving financial close, securing billions of pounds in investment, show that it remains an attractive place to do offshore business.”
Britain will quickly see its current 5 GW of operational offshore wind capacity double, at which point more than 7 million residents will be able to have their electricity needs met by offshore wind generated clean electricity.
“The Government’s advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, is now recommending we install 1-2 gigawatts of offshore wind a year throughout the 2020s to meet out carbon reduction goals, so we could reach as much as 30GW by 2030,” continued Dr Edge. “The CCC says offshore wind is set to become cheaper than gas during the next decade, so it offers excellent value for money in terms of keeping bills down. We’re also generating jobs, with 13,000 people already working in the industry – that could increase to 44,000 in less than 10 years.”
“However, if we’re to continue to deliver ambitious offshore infrastructure projects throughout the 2020s, we need a clear plan from Government stating how much offshore wind capacity it wants over the next decade. We’ve had some encouraging signals so far, but we need details of how the financial framework is going to work for offshore wind to deliver at scale, as a key part of the Government’s industrial strategy.”
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