23 January 2019

Will Apps, Head of Energy Development, gives an update on our 2019 development priorities for offshore wind

2018 has been another strong year for the UK offshore wind sector, laying strong foundations for continued growth, including within our own portfolio.

The industry’s ability to deliver clean electricity, reliably and at low cost, is being rewarded. We are seeing growing expectations around the role offshore wind will play in UK decarbonisation1; greater clarity from government on the CfD regime, with a set trajectory of 1-2GW of new capacity per year enabled by allocation rounds every 2 years, and progress towards a ‘sector deal’.

From a development perspective, our current priority at The Crown Estate is to complete the 2017 extensions process and to crystallise plans for leasing Round 4

For offshore wind extension projects, the plan level Habitats Assessment is well underway and we are working with stakeholders and applicants. Currently we remain on track to conclude and award agreements for projects in the summer.

On new leasing, after two stages of engagement with technical and statutory stakeholders and the market, the team are working hard to conclude our work to build the evidence base for seabed regional refinement, as well as the tender design and lease documents – the where, how and what. 

The process of characterising the seabed both technically and from a point of view of environmental constraints has been a significant task, made all the more relevant with valuable input from stakeholders.

This activity provides a great example of our ambition at The Crown Estate, to be a business that puts data and evidence at the heart of decisions we make. By sharing our knowledge and working closely with our stakeholders and customers, we hope to de-risk the consenting and development process and increase the chance of future success. 



1Scenarios published by both the National Grid and Committee on Climate Change saw increases in the potential role of offshore wind to 30 and 34GW by 2030, respectively.

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