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The UK’s offshore wind pipeline reaches 86 GW, sees a 60% increase in 12 months

The UK’s total pipeline of offshore wind projects has now reached 86 gigawatts (GW), according to new research published today by not-for-profit renewable energy trade association RenewableUK.

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UK’s offshore wind pipeline

The pipeline, which “includes projects that are fully operational, under construction, consented, in the planning system, or being developed for submission into planning,” has seen a 60% increase over the past 12 months, and it’s more than eight times the UK’s current operational capacity.

The surge in the last 12 months was mainly the result of huge leasing round announcements by The Crown Estate (8 GW) and Crown Estate Scotland (25 GW).

Globally, the total offshore wind pipeline has reached 517 GW. So, where does the UK stand in comparison to other countries’ offshore wind pipelines?

Its total pipeline is bigger than China’s, which is at 74.7 GW, as per the below chart, but China now has more fully operational capacity – 24 GW – than the UK, which has 10.5 GW.

Source: RenewableUK

The US’s pipeline comes in third at nearly 48 GW, which is a significant number, seeing how it currently has almost no built offshore wind capacity.

RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail said:

It’s clear that offshore wind will be doing the heavy lifting as [the UK secures] clean home-grown energy supplies and move faster toward independence from unstable fossil fuel imports.

The global offshore wind market is also continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate with an extra 200 GW added to the pipeline over the last year. As the UK was an early mover in offshore wind, we’re in a prime position to capitalize on our expertise as a market leader which is highly sought after worldwide.

Read more: Scotland’s offshore wind auction results in ‘historic’ 17 leases with massive 25 GW of capacity

Photo: Cobra Group

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.