The UK’s offshore wind power has reached a landmark 1GW installed capacity, according to industry group RenewableUK.
The “landmark” figure, which is enough to power 653,000 homes, follows the start-up of EON’s Robin Rigg and DONG Energy’s Gunfleet Sands wind farms.
“In the first quarter of this year alone half a billion pounds of private investment has been invested directly into offshore wind in the UK,” RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said.
At present, over 40GW of offshore wind farms are in various stages of development and over 4GW in construction or awaiting planning consent.
Offshore wind will provide over 150TWh of carbon-free electricity a year compared with the UK’s total electricity consumption in 2009 of 374TWh.
The load factors for offshore wind are now on par with UK hydro at 35% and only 5% less than average load factors for conventional thermal generation, according to The Digest of United Kingdom of Energy Statistics for 2009.