Overview of the offshore wind industry

The UK is the global leader for offshore wind energy.

The UK's first commercial offshore wind farm was North Hoyle commissioned in 2003. In the period since, the offshore wind sector has grown rapidly and by 2008 the UK overtook Denmark as the world number one for installed capacity. The UK is presently identified as the best market for offshore wind energy in the world due to its favourable combination of wind resource, strong offshore regime, supporting legislation and fiscal incentives.

By the end of 2015 the UK had installed more than 5GW of operational capacity across 27 wind farms. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is projecting that UK installed capacity will achieve between 8GW and 12GW by 2020, by which point offshore wind will be supplying between 8 and 10 per cent of the UK's electricity annually.

Increasing the rate of deployment will depend on the industry being able to bring down costs. If this occurs, the UK renewable Energy roadmap indicates there is very high potential for deployment after 2020, with over 40GW possible by 2030.

Installed Offshore Wind Capacity by European Country - 2015 (source EWEA)

 London Array - The world's largest offshore wind farm located off the Kent coast

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