Offshore wind farms in UK waters generated enough power to meet the electricity needs of 41% (11.5m) of the nation’s homes in a new record year in 2022, according to the latest Offshore Wind Report from The Crown Estate.
In total Offshore Wind generated 45TWh of electricity last year, up from 37TWh in 2021 and a sixfold increase over the past 10 years, and is estimated to be generating enough electricity to meet the needs of nearly half (47%) of UK homes by the end of the current year. The new record was achieved despite 2022 wind speeds coming in lower than the long-term average.
Last year saw a number of key developments in the UK offshore wind sector. Hornsea 2, the world’s largest offshore wind farm with capacity to power 1.1m homes, became fully operational, as did Moray East off the North East coast of Scotland.
There are now 50 wind farms in UK waters which are either operating or under construction, with another seven that have secured a Contract for Difference (CfD). There is also a significant development pipeline, including up to 8GW of additional capacity to come from the Round 4 projects that signed Agreements for Lease with The Crown Estate in early 2023.
Internationally, the UK continues to be at the forefront of offshore wind and is the most attractive place to invest. In 2022, UK offshore wind capacity accounted for 24% of global capacity, second only to China, with continued progress to push hard to meet the Government’s target of 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
Gus Jaspert, Managing Director for Marine
Gus Jaspert, Managing Director for Marine, The Crown Estate, said:
“The UK’s offshore wind sector continues to be a world leader and a UK success story. Now generating enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 40 per cent of UK homes, the sector is having a major impact on meeting the national challenges of energy security and decarbonisation to address climate change.
“This success comes from years of hard work, collaboration and innovation across an extraordinarily diverse range of partners and industries. But we can’t stop there. We need to achieve more in the next decade than we have in the last two if we are to help the UK meet its clean, secure energy ambitions. With more demands than ever on the nation’s invaluable seabed, we must work across sectors to carefully plan how to unlock its full potential whilst supporting a thriving natural world for the benefit of the nation.”
The 2022 report covers a wide range of data and metrics relevant to the UK offshore wind sector. Other highlights from the report include:
Offshore wind provided 14% of total UK electricity generation (business and domestic), compared to 38% from gas
The average size of an operating wind farm stands at 0.3GW, while the average size of a wind farm under construction is 1.1GW
Total UK operating capacity increased from 11.3GW in 2021 to 13.7GW in 2022, while global capacity increased from 48GW to 57GW in the same period
The UK’s 2022 offshore wind output of 45TWh saved the equivalent of 17m tonnes of CO2 emissions
For more information, including access to key data charts and the full downloadable report, please see below.
The Crown Estate sets out plan to unlock enough new offshore wind capacity to power up to four million homes
The Crown Estate is taking steps to enable the generation of up to an additional 4GW of green electricity from several offshore wind farm projects in development.
The Crown Estate has awarded an Agreement for Lease for what could become one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage projects.
The Crown Estate has set out further details on its plans for Offshore Wind Leasing Round 5.