Wind energy industry in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Wind power has become one of the most important energy sources to consumers and industries in the United Kingdom. With coal being slowly phased out of the country's power mix, efforts to increase renewable shares have brought the cumulative capacity of wind power to a total of 24,771 megawatts in 2018.

Onshore plants still account for the greatest share of capacity installed, there being 704 wind farms spread across the country. However, despite the difference offshore capacity being a significantly lower, in terms of energy generation, offshore turbines generated close to the same amount of electricity and heat. In 2018, wind plants at sea contributed 26,687 gigawatt hours to the power grid, compared with 30,217 gigawatt hours added by onshore sites.
This may be due to the greater utilization rate of offshore wind energy. Between 2010 and 2018, the load factor for offshore turbines grew from 30.5 to 40.1 percent, whilst turbines situated on land had a load factor ranging from 21.8 to 29.3 percent in the same time period.

Following its completion in June 2018, Walney 3 has become the largest wind farm in the country. As of 2019 it had an installed capacity of 660 megawatts and together with the adjacent Walney 1 and Walney 2 facilities, is the largest offshore plant in the world. By comparison, Clyde Wind Farm, the biggest onshore site in the UK, has a capacity of 350 megawatts and is made up of 152 turbines. Only two of the currently operational wind farms on land have a capacity exceeding 300 megawatts, whereas for offshore sites this number was eleven.

The wind industry generated 8,750 million euros in turnover in 2018, making it the second most profitable in the European Union following Germany. This is the result of greater productivity in the sector and also reflected in the number of jobs added that year. Employment figures grew to a peak of 82,800.

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Wind energy in the UK

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Onshore and offshore wind energy

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