United Kingdom

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Windpower Monthly rating 4.0/5

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Our rating is based on a combination of project pipeline, political and policy support, investor confidence and structural readiness of the country in terms of grid infrastructure, permitting process and local supply chain.

Estimate of installed and operating wind power capacity based on the latest statisitics and measured against the Windpower Intelligence database.

With the government aiming to cut carbon emissions to almost zero by 2050, the UK will have to at least triple its onshore wind capacity in the next 15 years, as well as further expanding its offshore capacity.

In this context, the government’s March 2020 policy u-turn — allowing onshore projects to compete in Contracts for Difference auctions from 2021 — has been widely welcomed and should provide a boost to development.

However, given tough English permitting rules, much of the additional capacity is likely to appear in Scotland and Wales, with a marked ‘bounce-back’ looking unlikely to materialise in England.

Offshore, prospects remain favourable. Backed by a stable policy framework, economies of scale, falling costs and investor appetite, the UK’s offshore sector is expected to go from strength to strength, with 40GW of cumulative capacity being the stated goal for 2030.

The UK grid system and other aspects of the regulation around power generation — although sometimes complex — are mature and generally fair.

Highlights include: the OFTO regime; steps being taken to bring more competition into building of new network infrastructure; and the possibility of synergies between interconnector projects, offshore wind, and novel uses of North Sea oil & gas assets.

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