UK existing projects and future development plans

The UK has become a prime location for the development of offshore renewables bringing new opportunities for the supply of services and components.

The sector has developed with a series of licensing ‘Rounds’ co-ordinated by The Crown Estate, the landlord and owner of the seabed. Round 1 was launched in 2001 and is now almost complete. It involved 18 sites in England and Wales, and added a potential capacity of 1.5GW. In 2003, the much larger Round 2 was issued, located further offshore and in deeper waters. It was formed of the three strategic areas; Greater Wash, Greater Thames and Irish Sea and when complete Round 2 will add another 7GW of capacity.

Round 3, released in 2010 is the biggest so far and features nine zones across the UK. The largest, Dogger Bank, has the potential to generate up to 13GW of power and is one of the largest energy projects anywhere in the world. Round 3 is set to enter construction from 2014 onwards. In addition to Rounds 1, 2 and 3, there is a further development programme in Scottish Territorial Waters overseen by the Scottish government providing the potential for 5GW across 6 sites. In Northern Ireland a 2012 leasing round is now underway.

Kent is strategically well located to support existing projects, planned extensions and the building of new projects in the Round 3 development zones of the North Sea and English Channel. In addition, Kent’s proximity to Northern Europe means it is ideally placed to support other countries as they bring forward their own offshore wind plans.

A key area for development is the eastern seaboard of England which enjoys shallow waters and strong wind resources extending far into the North Sea. Within this area the Thames Estuary has been a focal point leading the early rounds of development with more than 2GW installed or under construction. Kent projects include the London Array, Thanet Offshore and Kentish Flats wind farms.

Offshore wind development is beginning to move into deeper coastal waters bringing forward larger projects and new challenges for the industry. This latest phase is covered by the Crown Estates Round 3 development programme and confirms the significant level of UK ambition. The scale of long term investment is considered sufficient by the Government to sustain a home based supply chain and reduce our overseas dependency creating thousAnds of new jobs and business opportunities for the UK.

The following map and table details of the UK project pipeline and shows the scale of opportunities to invest across operating assets, wind farms in construction and projects in development.

UK offshore wind project pipeline – October 2014


In addition to UK opportunities, the table below indicates the scale of currently consented or in development projects in North European countries (source: UKTI Offshore Wind: Your Passport to Europe September 2015).

Country Capacity (GW)
France 3GW
Belgium 1.5GW
Netherlands 3.5GW
Denmark 1.5GW
Germany 6.5GW


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