East’s wind sector powers ahead as new record set

Great Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm Great Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm

Friday, August 1, 2014
6:00 AM

Nearly a quarter of the country’s offshore wind capacity is installed in East Anglian waters, according to an industry body.

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RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries, said a new record of nearly 15% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources, including wind,which produced 53% of the renewable energy generated last year.

Nearly a quarter of that wind energy - 24.11% - was generated off the coast of East Anglia at three giant offshore wind farms.

The new record for renewables generation means that the UK is halfway towards its target of sourcing 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The target for all energy is 15% by that date.

This region will be helping to meet that goal through its offshore wind industry.

So far, Greater Gabbard has an installed capacity of 504 megawatts (MW), Scroby Sands 60MW and Sheringham Shoal 317MW.

The total offshore wind installed capacity off the coast of East Anglia amounted to 880.8MW last year - a sizeable chunk of the UK’s total offshore wind capacity of 3,653MW

“Nearly a quarter of the UK’s offshore wind capacity (880MW) is installed in East Anglian waters, with Greater Gabbard, Sheringham Shoal and Scroby Sands generating enough clean electricity to power more than 684,000 homes in 2013, using the new statistics published today,” said Renewable UK.

It said there was a 30% increase in renewable electricity last year compared to 2012.

The annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics, released yesterday, show that onshore and offshore wind energy is playing the central role in the country’s successful transition from fossil fuels to clean renewables, it said.

“The Department of Energy & Climate Change says onshore wind continued to be the leading technology for generating electricity from renewable sources, providing 32% of the total, while offshore wind generated a further 21%, making a total of 53% of all renewable energy from wind. This means that 7.9% of the UK’s electricity was generated by onshore and offshore wind in 2013,” RenewableUK said.

Its director of policy Dr Gordon Edge said: “This abundance of excellent statistics should make those in Government who have failed to support wind energy sit up and take notice.

“More than half of Britain’s clean electricity now comes from onshore and offshore wind.

“We’re now on course to hit 10% of electricity from wind alone this year.

“That’s why it’s particularly puzzling to see some politicians fail to back the cheapest and most successful renewable technology, onshore wind, at a time when a majority of voters from all the main parties are telling them to support it.

“Many will ask why some Government Ministers act as cheerleaders for technologies like fracking for shale gas.”

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