Latest offshore wind statistics, released today by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), confirm that the United Kingdom is the European and world-sector leader with 1,341 megawatts (MW) installed. The UK is followed by Denmark (854MW), the Netherlands (249MW), Belgium (195MW) and Sweden (164MW). Germany, Ireland, Finland and Norway have a further 145MW between them. Commenting on the results, RenewableUK, the country's leading renewable energy trade association, has hailed todays results as more evidence that the offshore wind sector is on track to deliver significant economic benefits, as well as renewable electricity to consumers.
Peter Madigan, RenewableUK Head of Offshore Renewables said: The UKs offshore wind roll out is continuing at full speed. Last week the first turbines at Walney and Greater Gabbard have started delivering electricity to the grid. Once completed these two offshore wind farms will take the UK over the 2 gigawatt (GW) mark. We now need to ensure that we are best poised to capture the full benefits such a massive infrastructure project offers, including increased employment and business activity.
EWEAs report states that the current installed offshore wind-power capacity now supplies the equivalent of 2.9million average EU households with electricity, comparable with the amounts of power consumed by the cities Berlin and Brussels together, from a total of 1,136 offshore wind turbines. It has also stated that 19,000 MW of offshore wind capacity is already fully consented in Europe. If constructed, it would generate 66.6 Terawatt hours of electricity in a normal wind year; enough to supply 14 of the largest capitals in Europe with electricity, including Paris, London and Berlin. Added to this total, the report flagged up the development potential in UK waters which is already leased, and awaiting planning consent.
We should ensure that new UK based factories are supplying the turbines for those 19,000MW of consented wind farms and beyond. This is a once in a generation opportunity and there is no reason why, given the right policy framework, we shouldnt stay on top of the offshore league, concluded Madigan.