UK: 60 per cent more offshore wind projects under construction in 2020

Project capacity under construction in the UK increased by over 60 per cent from 4.4 GW in 2019 to 7.2 GW in 2020, the latter being almost 70 per cent of the existing operational fleet, according to the Crown Estate’s 2020 Offshore Wind Operational Report.

The offshore wind capacity under construction signals an extremely busy and significant period ahead, the Crown Estate said.

The UK offshore wind sector generated enough green electricity for 39 per cent of UK homes in 2020, up from 30 per cent in 2019. The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) reported in March that offshore wind farms generated 40.7 TWh of electricity last year, up from 32 TWh in 2019.

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Over 3,000 offshore wind turbines are now either in operation (76 per cent) or construction (24 per cent) in the UK.

Throughout 2020, the sector demonstrated its maturity and resilience, adapting quickly to ensure continuity of operations during extraordinarily difficult circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Crown Estate 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”, said Adrian Fox, Head of Offshore Assets at The Crown Estate. “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”.