UK's offshore wind output soars

Q3 data reveal 54% increase on a year earlier

A hike in electricity generation by UK offshore wind farms is revealed in data released on Thursday 20 December by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). In the third quarter of 2012, UK offshore wind farms generated more than half as much again as they had done in Q3 2011.

Of electricity generated in Q3 2012, renewables' share rose by 2.6 percentage points on a year earlier, to 11.7%. Gas accounted for 28.2%, coal for 35.4% and nuclear for 22.3%. Renewable electricity generation was 9.5TWh in Q3, a 25.2% increase on the 7.6TWh generated in Q3 2011. While offshore wind generation rose by 54.2%, onshore wind generation increased by 38.2%.

It is the bringing on stream of new capacity that has underpinned much of the increase in offshore wind electricity generation. The Greater Gabbard, Lincs and Sheringham Shoal developments have all contributed to the significant rise in output.

Commenting on the data, RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive, Maf Smith, said: "British homes and businesses are now getting more than 10% of their electricity from renewables on a regular basis, as these figures show. Wind is generating the lion’s share of our clean electricity, and is set to become even more important in our energy mix for the rest of this decade."