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UK Takes The Lead In Offshore Wind Power

Offshore wind

It’s thanks to her that the UK has been catapulted right to the top of the European installed capacity league table. This enormous 588 MW wind farm, eight miles off the Caithness coast and powered by 84-turbines, can power up to 450,000 homes.

As well as being the fourth largest offshore wind farm in the world, the project came in at £100m under budget – costing of £2.6bn.

Paul Cooley, director of capital projects for the developers SSE Renewables, commented: “The delivery of Beatrice reaffirms the UK’s leading position in the offshore wind market, and is another make step forward in the transition towards a net zero future. The UK will need to develop further projects similar to Beatrice in the next to 10 to 15 years if we are to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

The UK added a total of 931MW in the first half of 2019. WindEurope’s figures show the second closest is Denmark (374 MW), Belgium (370 MW) and Germany (252 MW). The EU makes up a third of the world’s total wind capacity and is considered the global leader. The European Commission has also committed to adding or improving at least 100,000 more turbines by 2050.

To the States, and last month the single-largest procurement to offshore wind was awarded by the State of New York to Ørsted and Equinor. The first behemoth – the 880 MW Sunrise Wind project – will support homes in Long Island. The second – Empire Wind, can generate 816 MW and will power homes and businesses in New York City. The city that never sleeps has serious ambitions to renewable energy – with this signalling that offshore wind has a key role to play.

Related: Big Oil To Seal Record Number Of Green Energy Deals In 2019

A significant number of offshore farms are in operation or under construction around the world which are larger than 400 MW. The UK has seven of the biggest. From the Walney Extension in the Irish Sea - producing a gigantic 659 MW which can power 590,000 homes, to the London Array with a capacity of 630 MW down to the Clyde whose 206 turbines generate 522 MW – enough for 290,000 homes. Offshore wind farms are now the size of nuclear reactors. And they’re not getting smaller.

And massive wind farms will be the only way China can achieve a huge 84 GW pipeline of installations. The scale of demand has resulted in three out of the five largest offshore development portfolios in the world being controlled by Chinese companies. It stands alone from the increasingly connected world of the offshore market.

Last year 15 alliances were formed as developers broke into new markets or strengthened their positions. It’s expected that around 90% of companies going through tenders this year will do so through consortiums.

By Precise Consultants

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