London Array offshore wind farm

The Crown Estate said in two reports released at Global Offshore Wind 2014 conference that the UK offshore wind industry is progressing towards doubling its capacity to 10GW and meeting approximately 10% of the country’s energy demand by 2020

Offshore wind operational report 2014 outlines the continuing growth within the energy sector whereas the second report, Sharing Lessons Learned and Good Practice in Offshore Transmission, provides a pathway to reduce costs.

The Crown Estate offshore wind head Huub den Rooijen said there have been several significant milestones in 2014 for offshore wind, including a total of £750m industry investment announced.

Rooijen said, "With around 1465 wind turbines in operation or under construction and nearly 4 GW in operation it is fair to say the industry is coming of age.

"Given the volume of offshore wind capacity already connected and the expected future capacity, there is a valuable opportunity to better understand the challenges faced on offshore transmission projects."

The 2014 offshore wind operational report said the generation from offshore wind reached 11.5TWh in 2013, which equates to 3.3% of energy demand in the UK.

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UK wind farms have delivered a 37.7% capacity factor in 2013 and more than 6,800 people were employed in the sector, the report said.

"UK wind farms have delivered a 37.7% capacity factor in 2013 and more than 6,800 people were employed in the sector."

For the past ten years, offshore wind generation has registered a year on year growth of 53%, consistent with the average annual growth of 55%, the Offshore wind operational report 2014 revealed.

Four wind farms, London Array, Greater Gabbard, Sheringham Shoal and Thanet, delivered half of the production in 2013.

In addition to this, sharing lessons learned and good practices in the offshore transmission report proposes a knowledge hub for information sharing.

Meanwhile, a review into the country’s offshore wind supply chain has also been launched by the UK Energy Minister Michael Fallon.

"Overall UK content in our offshore wind farms can be, and should be, much higher – especially in capital expenditure," Fallon said.

Image: London Array offshore wind farm achieved an annual output of more than 2TWh in 2013. Photo: courtesy of the Crown Estate 2014.

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