Record-breaking year of growth for UK wind energy

07th November 2013  To: 07th November 2013

Offshore wind capacity grows by a record 79 per cent in 12 months, according to new report.

The offshore wind industry has enjoyed a record breaking year in terms of new deployment, according to Renewable UK’s latest annual report, "Wind Energy in the UK".

The study, which assesses the state of the wind industry from July 2012 to June 2013, reveals a step change in the offshore wind sector. Installed capacity stood at 3,321 megawatts (MW) at the end of June 2013, up from 1,858 MW 12 months earlier - an increase of 79 per cent.

Four large scale offshore projects went operational during the 12-month period covered by the report – Greater Gabbard, Gunfleet Sands III, Sheringham Shoal, and London Array which is currently the biggest offshore wind farm in the world (630 MW), exemplifying the trend towards larger offshore schemes.

The 1,463 MW installed offshore marks the first year in which offshore deployment has outstripped onshore wind. Onshore, 1,258 MW of new capacity came into operation, bringing the total installed onshore to 6,389MW – an increase of 25 per cent.

Onshore and offshore, a total of 2,721 MW were installed between July 2012 and June 2013, taking the UK’s total wind capacity up from 6,856 to 9,710 MW – a 40 per cent increase - enough to power more than five and a half million UK homes. The new capacity brought £2 billion of activity to the UK economy.

Onshore, project sizes are declining overall, due partly to the growth of the vibrant sub-5MW market under the Feed-in Tariff, with projects at this scale now making up two-thirds of new onshore submissions. Other factors include a reduction in the availability of larger sites, and developers’ responses to changes in the planning system.

The number of onshore projects approved at local authority level (i.e. under 50MW) fell slightly to 68 per cent (from 72% in 2011/12). 56 per cent of projects were approved on appeal.



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