Offshore Wind Report 2022
It’s just over 20 years since The Crown Estate explored options for its first ever commercial offshore wind farm lease. North Hoyle, off the North Wales coast, became operational in 2003 with the installation of 30 turbines, each with 2 MW capacity. It’s hard not to be impressed by how far we’ve come since those early days. Last year the world’s largest wind farm, Hornsea 2, entered full operation. By the end of 2022, the average turbine capacity of sites under construction had reached 9MW. 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). Millions of homes are now being powered by offshore wind, with more to come from a significant pipeline of projects. This includes up to 8GW of additional capacity to come from the Round 4 projects that signed Agreements for Lease (AfL) with The Crown Estate in early 2023.
Internationally, the UK continues to be at the forefront of offshore wind and is one of the most attractive places to invest in the world. In 2022, UK offshore wind capacity accounted for 24% of global capacity, second only to China, as we continue to push hard to meet the Government’s target of 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
These are remarkable numbers. They reflect a huge amount of work and an appetite to accept some risk and uncertainty along the way.
We recognise a new approach is needed if we’re to address these multiple priorities and maintain the UK’s world leading position. That’s why, over the coming year, we will continue to build on our track record to bring together the best minds, data and technologies to build an holistic view of the whole of the seabed and how it can be optimised for the benefit of the nation and the natural world.
None of this will be easy, but this report for the UK, with thanks to Crown Estate Scotland for their contribution, demonstrates the success of the last twenty-plus years and what can be achieved together and for the benefit of generations to come. The opportunity before us is extraordinary.
We look forward to working with you on this exciting journey.
Managing Director of Marine