Offshore wind farms in UK waters generated 46% more electricity in 2012 than the previous year, according to statistics released today. Total offshore wind output of 7.5TWh was achieved, compared to 5.1TWh in 2011.
The dominant reason for such strong performance by the UK offshore wind sector last year was expansion in installed capacity, which rose by 63%. The country boasts the world’s largest offshore wind fleet, with installed capacity just under 3GW (2,996MW) at the end of 2012, compared to 1.8GW a year earlier.
Last year was also a record-breaking year for UK renewables as a whole, with renewables off all types collectively accounting for 11.3% of total domestic electricity generation. This was an increase of two percentage points on 2011. It also means that the UK has met its 10% renewables target, as set out in the 2001 EU renewable energy directive, albeit two years late. The non-binding 10% target was supposed to be met in 2010.
Growth in offshore wind was a key factor in expansion of total renewables output in the UK during 2012. By year-end offshore wind accounted for 19% of UK renewables capacity.
Data released today are part of a regular energy trends statistical series issued by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change.