A report by the Crown Estate has revealed that offshore wind will play a crucial role in the UK government’s commitment to renewable energy and contribute 15% of its energy generation mix by 2020.
The Crown Estate said the UK’s offshore wind farms produced 7.5TWh in 2012, enough to power 6% of all the homes in the country.
The study found that since 2004, electricity generated from offshore wind energy has seen an annual growth rate of 54%.
According to the report, about five million tonnes equivalent of carbon dioxide emissions were avoided in 2012 through low carbon energy project across the portfolio.
The Crown Estate found that since December 2000, when the first wind turbines were commissioned off the UK coast at Blyth, 1,065 offshore wind turbines have been built.
The industry installed additional new offshore wind power capacity in 2012, with over 1.3GW coming fully online in the UK.
Completed projects include SSE Renewables and RWE npower renewables’ Greater Gabbard wind farm, Dong Energy and SSE’s Walney 2 project, Vattenfall’s Ormonde wind farm, and Statoil and Statkraft’s Sheringham Shoal wind farm.
The Crown Estate expects about 1GW of capacity will be added to the grid in 2013, including London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary with 630MW of capacity, and Centrica Renewable Energy’s 270MW Lincs project near the coast of Skegness.
Earlier this year, the Crown Estate unveiled its plans to invest £20m in Britain’s first wave and tidal stream array projects in an effort to support the growth of the industry.
Image: The UK’s offshore wind farm produced 7.5TWh in 2012. Photo: Courtesy of The Crown Estate.