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Offshore wind pipeline surges to 86 gigawatts, boosting UK’s energy independence

New research published today by RenewableUK shows the UK’s total pipeline of offshore wind projects now stands at 86GW – more than eight times our current operational capacity.

The pipeline includes projects which are fully operational, under construction, consented, in the planning system or being developed for submission into planning.

This represents a 60% increase over the past 12 months, driven mainly by massive leasing round announcements by The Crown Estate (8GW) and Crown Estate Scotland (25GW).

The statistics, compiled for RenewableUK’s latest EnergyPulse report, also show that the total global offshore wind pipeline has reached 517GW.

China now has more capacity fully operational than the UK (24GW compared to our 10.5GW), but the UK’s total pipeline of 86GW is bigger than China’s 75GW. The USA is in third place with 48GW in its pipeline.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Dan McGrail said: “Our latest EnergyPulse report shows that the UK’s world-class offshore wind industry has taken huge strides forward in the past twelve months, with landmark leasing announcements adding an extra 33GW to our pipeline, and funding for floating wind ringfenced in the current CfD auction to help accelerate the growth of innovative technology. It’s clear that offshore wind will be doing the heavy lifting as we secure our clean home-grown energy supplies and move faster towards independence from unstable fossil fuel imports.

“The global offshore wind market is also continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate with an extra 200GW added to the pipeline over the last year. As the UK was an early mover in offshore wind, we’re in a prime position to capitalise on our expertise as a market leader which is highly sought after worldwide”.

The report also analyses data on major components of UK offshore wind farms such as turbines, cables and substations. This shows that the average turbine capacity will increase from 8-9MW this year to 14-15MW by 2025. The report notes that this requires more UK-based factories, which will also need to be larger, creating new supply chain opportunities.

EnergyPulse reports are available to RenewableUK members – more details are available here.

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