The UK leads every other nation possessing a coastline in our innovation of floating wind turbines, both in numbers of operating spinners, and in projects still on the drawing board, new analysis claims.

Figures today from trade body RenewableUK’s Energy Pulse point to Britain’s parc of 80MW of floating turbines already generating, with a further massive 32GW in planning.

Britain’s operating floating farms include the 30MW Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating installation 20 miles off Peterhead, and generating since 2017.  It was surpassed in 2020 by the world’s largest, the 50MW of built structures in the Kincardine farm off Aberdeen.

In September D-BEIS announced a dedicated budget of £24 million to support floating projects in Allocation Round 4 of CfD auctions. The bidding round added 60GW of new capacity.

Floating projects also took more than half of the 24.8GW licensed in consequence of the ScotWind auctions in January.

Portugal’s 25 MW of floating, operating capacity sets it in second place, ahead of Norway and China, both with 6MW already deployed.  Equinor’s 88MW Hywind Tampen project is due to be operational later this year.

Both types of marine turbines, either rooted to the seabed, or floating and anchored only by cables, are considered in the trade body’s figures today.

Second to China

In international pipelines of yet-to-be-built projects both floating and rooted, Britain ranks second only to China.  This nation’s 91GW has nearly doubled in twelve months from 55GW, and lies now only seven GW behind the Asian nation for 2022.

The USA comes third with 80GW, and Germany fourth at 57GW.

Europe combined has a 350GW of projects in design, and a further 26GW already generating or built and awaiting commissioning.

In terms of floating projects, Australia, Italy, the USA and Finland vie to copy British ambition.

Dan McGrail, RenewableUK’s CEO said: “The global growth of offshore wind over the last year is nothing short of staggering.

Our EnergyPulse report shows that this technology is now a truly global industry, not just in Europe and Asia, but also with major projects underway in North and South American and Australia”.

It’s great to see that the UK has the biggest global pipeline of floating projects”, McGrail added, “as this will prove to be a gamechanger in reaching net zero faster, as well as creating opportunities for us to export innovative British technology all over the world.”

For more detail, RenewableUK members can read the report here.


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