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UK to secure 10% of its electricity from offshore wind

23 May 2016  
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RenewableUK is welcoming today’s £2.6 billion Final Investment Decision by SSE, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and SDIC Power of China, to build Beatrice offshore wind farm. It is one of the largest private investments ever made in Scottish infrastructure.

In total, the UK now has more than 10 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity operating, under construction or with final investment decisions taken. With 5.1GW operational, 0.8GW being built and 4.3GW having reached FID, offshore wind is set to provide 10% of the UK’s electricity needs by 2020. Offshore wind already delivers 5%.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said:

“It’s terrific to see another multi-billion pound international investment in our global-leading offshore wind industry.

“We now know that by 2020, 10% of the UK’s electricity will be generated by offshore wind farms, securing jobs and investment all over our country”.

10GW will power the equivalent of more than a quarter of UK households a year – over 7 and a half million homes.


1. RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the wind, wave and tidal energy industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 425 corporate members, RenewableUK is the country’s leading renewable energy trade association.

2. SSE’s FID announcement on Beatrice. More details on SSE’s Beatrice offshore wind farm project. Construction work will begin this year on the 588 megawatt (MW) project in the Outer Moray Firth, 13.5km from the Caithness coastline. It is expected to become fully operational in 2019, powering 450,000 homes.

3. UK offshore wind projects operational, under construction or with final investment decision: 
5,098MW operational (28 projects) – see full list
802MW under construction (2 projects)
4,336MW final investment decision taken (7 projects)
= 10,236MW total
= 7,600,480 homes powered (5- year rolling average load factor of 34.88%)
(DECC Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2015)

4. 10GW = 10% of the UK’s power needs:
DECC Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2015 (p113) states:
UK final consumption of electricity in 2014: 303 TWh
10GW of offshore wind generates 30.5TWh (DECC Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2015 Table 6.5 (p193) 5-year average offshore wind load factor)

5. The UK has 27 million households according to the ONS

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