The UK’s combined onshore and offshore wind capacity has topped 25 GW, rising from 15 GW in 2017, industry group RenewableUK said today.
The milestone was reached thanks to RWE’s 857-MW Triton Knoll offshore wind farm and three onshore wind parks in Scotland -- the 37.8-MW Twentyshilling, 43.2-MW Windy Rig and 48.5-MW Glen Kyllachy -- of Greencoat Wind UK.
The UK now has 25,530 MW of wind capacity in operation. This is enough to power 19 million households a year, or two-thirds of UK homes, the trade body calculates. The wind turbines generate 71.2 TWh of electricity a year, representing 23% of the UK’s annual needs.
“Wind is the cheapest source of new power for the UK, as last month’s record-breaking auction for the next round of renewable energy projects showed,” said RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail. “So we need to get on with building bigger clean energy projects faster, to help ease the pain for consumers faced with exorbitant gas bills which many people will be unable to pay,” he added.
McGrail said onshore wind farms can be built within 12 months of being permitted and called for a revised planning system to encourage new projects, as well as for streamlining the consenting process for offshore wind farms.
The UK’s total pipeline of wind projects, from those in operation to those in early development, is put at 129 GW, of which 93.3 GW offshore.
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