Snapshot: UK offshore wind

Offshore wind energy in the UK is charging ahead.

As the above tweet illustrates, the price of offshore wind power in the UK is half what the UK government predicted it would be in 2030! Subsidies for offshore wind energy in the UK have more than halved in less than three years reflecting the falling costs of the energy it produces. The UK government awards contracts-for-difference for offshore wind farms to companies who can provide energy with the smallest subsidy over a set time period. This encourages companies to compete by lowering the costs of the technology and they appear to be securing significant reductions.

So successful has been the development of offshore wind that Dong Energy chief executive Henrik Poulsen sees the potential for wind, with the help of battery storage, to supply over 50% of UK energy in the future.

“When you look back in 10 years from now, we’ll see this period around 2016-17 as an inflection point. The cost of offshore wind, also solar and onshore wind, is coming down at such speed that nobody could have predicted.” Henrik Poulsen

Indeed, a recent study commissioned by trade group WindEurope found that offshore wind could power 75% of UK homes by 2030 with another report suggesting that by the same year offshore wind could contribute up to £2.9 billion to the UK economy.

Currently wind (onshore and offshore) along with solar energy, provides around 14% of total energy generation in the UK.

UK energy mix

Let’s hope those costs keep falling and that generation share keeps growing!


Image at top: Doug Scoble, Flickr


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