More than 2 GW went operational in UK waters during 2018 – enough to power over 2,300,000 homes all year round.
In 2018 eight new offshore wind farms were officially opened, bringing the annual total of new capacity to 2,121 MW – nearly double the previous annual record of 1,154MW in 2012.
This near-doubling of capacity was achieved with just 18% more turbines than were installed in 2012 (367 turbines this year compared to 309 turbines in 2012), underlining the impressive growth in turbine power in the last 6 years.
Since 2012, the average capacity of an offshore turbine has grown over 50% from 3.7MW to 5.8MW this year.
New projects opened this year included the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, Walney Extension (659MW), Rampion (400MW) and Race Bank (573MW), as well as the world’s second floating offshore wind farm, Kincardine, in Scottish waters.
Offshore wind deployment will continue to grow next year, with Beatrice in Moray Firth (588MW) going fully operational, and construction work continuing on East Anglia ONE (714MW) and Hornsea Project One (1,218MW) off the Yorkshire coast, which will both to be fully operational in 2020.
“We’re thrilled that we’ve absolutely smashed previous records and installed more new offshore wind power stations than ever before,” said Emma Pinchbeck, Executive Director of RenewableUK.
“This is just the beginning of the great shift to renewables. By 2030, offshore wind could be generating more than a third of the UK’s entire electricity needs, with 30 gigawatts up and running.
“The industry would attract £48 billion in investment by the end of the next decade and employ 27,000 people in highly-skilled jobs.
“Offshore wind has brought the UK jobs, lower bills and renewable energy. It’s offering even more to the UK in the anticipated Offshore Wind Sector Deal, which the Government has said it wants to finalise by Christmas.”