21 April 2021

The Crown Estate 2020 Offshore Wind Operational Report shines spotlight on a mature sector firmly focussed on major net zero contribution

The Crown Estate has today published its ninth Offshore Wind Operational Report, which provides in-depth insight into the progress of the UK’s offshore wind sector. It paints a picture of a mature, robust and healthy market which is progressing at pace to deliver a strong and sustainable pipeline in support of the nation’s net zero ambitions.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Delivering record operational capacity: The UK offshore wind sector generated enough green electricity for 39% of UK homes (40.7 TWh) in 2020, up from 30% (32TWh) in 2019.
  • Significant construction underway: Project capacity under construction increased by over 60% from 4.4GW to 7.2GW. This capacity is almost 70% of the existing operational fleet, signalling an extremely busy and significant period ahead
  • Strong Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) performance: 99.2% availability for 2019/20, well above the default level of 98%.
  • A resilient sector: The sector demonstrated its maturity and resilience, adapting quickly to ensure continuity of operations during extraordinarily difficult circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • New milestones: Over 3,000 turbines are now either in operation (76%) or construction (24%), a remarkable journey from when the first turbine was installed just over 20 years ago
  • New technologies: During the year it was confirmed that phases A and B of Dogger Bank Windfarm will use 13MW Haliade-X turbines; one rotation of which will produce enough electricity to power a UK home for two days. The Broad Horizons report commissioned by The Crown Estate also points to how technological innovation, including floating wind technology, will expand the range of geographical possibilities for future offshore wind deployment.

The report features a broad range of insights and analysis of the sector, including wind farm performance and ownership, investment, development, Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) performance and ownership, and health and safety. It also reveals a sector committed to working together to improve diversity and inclusion, and to growing the workforce, particularly through apprenticeships and in areas where other industries have declined.

This commitment to collaboration was highlighted by the 2020 launch of the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme, which will gather data and evidence to drive forward the sustainable and co-ordinated expansion of offshore wind. Led by The Crown Estate and supported by strategic partners the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the unique collaboration will bring together devolved Governments and more than 20 stakeholder organisations to develop a vision for the future of the offshore wind sector.

Adrian Fox, Head of Offshore Assets at The Crown Estate said: “This year’s Offshore Wind Operational Report illustrates a mature and robust sector which has its sights firmly set on increasing its contribution to the nation’s net zero ambitions.

“The sector has stepped up admirably during an exceptionally difficult year caused by the global pandemic, demonstrating its resilience and ability to reliably deliver clean energy to millions of homes.

“The introduction of several new initiatives to collaborate across the sector is further evidence that those in the industry understand the challenges associated with an appetite for rapid growth, and are committed to working together to find sustainable ways to deliver it.”

To download the Offshore Wind Operational report 2020, click here

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