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Global Offshore 2015: offshore wind overview and UK wind resource dataset with improved accuracy published

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Crown Estate has today launched two pieces of work for the UK’s offshore wind industry: a report reviewing the performance of the UK’s operational offshore wind portfolio, and a high resolution modelled dataset for wind resource.

Offshore wind continues to be a UK success story

Our report 'Offshore wind: Operational report 2015' provides a unique overview of the UK sector, including articles on how the industry is performing, the current development pipeline, who the main players are, and how the industry is working together to boost performance and bring down costs.

Offshore wind operational report

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind said: "The UK has more offshore wind turbines than the whole of the rest of Europe put together. As an active manager of the UK seabed, The Crown Estate has a major role to play in identifying the common challenges facing the industry and putting them on the agenda to help bring down costs and ensure the UK remains the most attractive place to invest in offshore wind.

"With the UK's offshore wind portfolio on course to double by the end of the decade, this report demonstrates how the sector has established a strong investment proposition underpinned by secure and low carbon energy and is working hard to bring down costs."

Operational wind highlights include:

Security:

  • Britain's offshore wind fleet generated a record 13.4 terawatt hours (TWh), sufficient to meet the needs of almost 3.2m households and up 18 per cent from 2013.
  • Since the report went to print, the UK has reached another major milestone - 5 GW of operational capacity, with a further 0.7 GW under construction and 5 GW in the near to mid-term pipeline.

Affordability:

  • The Cost Reduction Monitoring Framework report in February 2015 confirmed the UK offshore wind industry is on a path to reduce the levelised cost of electricity generated by offshore wind to below £100 per MWh by 2020.
  • Progressive improvement in the long term load factor (generation efficiency) is contributing to reducing the cost per MWh.

Low carbon:

  • Offshore wind accounted for 4 per cent of UK electricity generated in 2014. All forms of UK renewables generation reached 22 per cent, exceeding nuclear output (19 per cent) for the first time.
  • Every 1 MWh of renewable electricity generated avoids the release of 0.86 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent (an overall 2014 saving of 11.5m tonnes).

A more accurate gridded wind resource dataset for the UK

We have published a major new modelled dataset for the UK's offshore wind resource, more accurate than previous versions and informed by a 30 year time horizon.

The modelling has been undertaken by the internationally renowned Met Office using their world-leading Numerical Weather Prediction capabilities, and verified against on-site wind measurements to provide confidence in the dataset. The new wind data provides a higher resolution picture of the UK's offshore wind resource to help inform offshore wind farm planning and development.

Huub den Rooijen said: "We have worked closely with the Met Office to produce the best offshore wind resource data for the UK. By making the dataset freely available on our Marine Data Exchange to different marine users we hope to contribute towards the sustainable development of the seabed to unlock value and help reduce the costs of offshore wind."

Patrick Sachon, Head of Renewables at the Met Office said: "We are pleased to work with The Crown Estate to use our modelling expertise and high performance computing capabilities to support the UK offshore wind industry. We hope this dataset will be used extensively by the industry; increasing understanding of our offshore wind resource and enabling it to be exploited fully"

This modelled data builds upon the recently published on-site offshore wind measurement data published by The Crown Estate and adds to the major collection of surveys and technical information already available through the Marine Data Exchange.

We take an active approach to managing the seabed to unlock value from this natural asset, including through supporting the offshore wind sector. We invest in activities such as technical surveys and commissioning of reports, through to bringing industry together to share knowledge and best practice. This is part of The Crown Estate's positive approach to active asset management and long-term investment.

UK Offshore Wind Resource Dataset 2015

UK Offshore Wind Resource Dataset 2015 (Marine Data Exchange)