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Over 10 gigawatts of offshore wind secured in UK waters, doubling current capacity

30 October 2015  
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RenewableUK, the trade association representing the wind industry, says today’s announcement by RWE Innogy of new project partners and investors for the Galloper offshore wind farm off the coast of Suffolk demonstrates the robustness of Britain’s world-leading offshore wind market.

It follows the announcement on Wednesday that DONG Energy has made a final investment decision to build Walney Extension offshore wind farm off the coast of Cumbria.

The confirmation of the 2 projects, which have a combined capacity of nearly 1 gigawatt, means that the UK now has more than 10GW of offshore wind capacity either operational or under construction, or with financial support fully secured.

This consolidates Britain’s global lead in offshore wind, and will double our current operation capacity of just over 5GW. 10GW of offshore wind will generate sufficient electricity to meet the needs of more than 7 million British homes.

RenewableUK’s Director of Policy for Economics and Regulation, Dr Gordon Edge, said

“The UK is the number one destination for offshore wind investors. This week’s two major announcements of offshore wind projects achieving financial close, securing billions of pounds in investment, show that it remains an attractive place to do offshore business.

The Government’s advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, is now recommending we install 1-2 gigawatts of offshore wind a year throughout the 2020s to meet out carbon reduction goals, so we could reach as much as 30GW by 2030. The CCC says offshore wind is set to become cheaper than gas during the next decade, so it offers excellent value for money in terms of keeping bills down. We’re also generating jobs, with 13,000 people already working in the industry – that could increase to 44,000 in less than 10 years.

“However, if we’re to continue to deliver ambitious offshore infrastructure projects throughout the 2020s, we need a clear plan from Government stating how much offshore wind capacity it wants over the next decade. We’ve had some encouraging signals so far, but we need details of how the financial framework is going to work for offshore wind to deliver at scale, as a key part of the Government’s industrial strategy.”

Notes:

  1. RWE Innogy announced today that it has attracted three new project partners to reach financial close on Galloper – the Green Investment Bank, Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital, enabling construction work to begin next month, creating 700 jobs and a further 90 once the 336MW project is operational by March 2018. It will generate enough clean energy to power up to 336,000 homes. More details on the Galloper project.
  2. DONG Energy said on Wednesday that Walney Extension is expected to be fully commissioned in 2018, at which time it will be the biggest offshore wind farm in the world (660MW), powering 460,000 UK homes and surpassing London Array (630MW).
  3. The UK has 5,054 megawatts (MW) operational + 50MW under construction + 2,599MW in pre-construction + 2,943MW with financial support secured = 10,646MW = 10.646GW.
  4. Germany is in 2nd place globally with 3.3GW of offshore wind capacity operational, and Denmark is in 3rd place with 1.3GW.
  5. The latest EY RECAI (Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index - Sept 2015) shows the UK retains its number 1 spot for offshore wind.

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