Renewables provide nearly a third of UK power in the UK and half of this is generated by from wind energy. Generation from onshore and offshore wind in the UK are central to the shift to an energy system fit for the future.
Onshore wind offers the most cost-effective choice for new electricity in the UK, bar none - it is cheaper than gas, nuclear, coal and other renewables. This clean, modern technology is popular with the public, regularly enjoying support levels of up to 74% according to the Government’s own opinion polls.
Onshore wind already generates clean power to meet the annual needs of more than 7.25 million homes a year and produced 9% of the UK’s power needs in 2017. Overall, the UK has installed over 12 gigawatts of onshore wind capacity, which supports jobs and local economic growth.
The cumulative investment impact of the UK’s 1,500 operational onshore wind farms is over £35 billion, demonstrating the significant contribution which onshore wind can make to delivering low-cost, low-carbon energy that pays back to consumers.
The UK is the world leader in offshore wind, with more installed capacity than any other country. Already, offshore wind powers the equivalent of 4.5 million homes annually and will generate over 10% of UK electricity by 2020.
The cost of new offshore wind has fallen by 50% since 2015 and it is now one of the lowest cost options for new power in the UK – cheaper than new gas and nuclear power.
Between 2016 and 2021 nearly £19bn is being invested in offshore wind in the UK. This investment supports thousands of jobs across the UK in manufacturing, project development, construction and operations.
The offshore wind sector has set out ambitious plans for a transformative sector deal that will generate tens of thousands of highly-productive, skilled jobs across the UK and make offshore wind the backbone of a clean, reliable and affordable energy system.
Small & Medium Wind
Small and medium sized wind turbines are empowering businesses, communities and families, including in rural areas, to switch to clean energy and manage their energy costs.
The UK has been manufacturing and exporting smaller-sized wind turbines for over 40 years and is a world leader in the technology with a number of UK manufacturers of turbines suited to home, business and community scale generation.
Decentralised low carbon generation will be at the heart of a smart energy system, which can enable cost savings across the energy system including by making greater use of local generation and flexibility to meet local demand spikes. Technology development, including in digitalisation is also offering consumers the choice to participate much more actively in the energy system and this consumer demand is set to grow.