Sustainable Energy

UK says offshore wind will provide one-third of its electricity by 2030

Key Points
  • A world leader in offshore wind, the U.K. is home to the world's largest operational offshore wind farm, Walney Extension. 
  • Government minister says new plans will "drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution." 
This image shows Scroby Sands offshore wind farm, in waters off the coast of Norfolk, England.
Geography Photos | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

One-third of the U.K.'s electricity will come from offshore wind power by the year 2030, with jobs in the sector potentially tripling to 27,000, according to plans announced by authorities Thursday.

Launching the joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said it would "drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the U.K."

Perry added that the deal would also bring investment to coastal communities and ensure that the U.K. maintained its "position as global leaders in this growing sector."

Under the deal, the sector will invest as much as £250 million ($328.21 million) to set up an Offshore Wind Growth Partnership "to support productivity and increase competitiveness."

The Offshore Wind Industry Council, a government and industry forum, said that the new deal would almost quadruple the capacity of offshore wind from 7.9 gigawatts (GW) today to "at least" 30 GW by 2030.

In 2017, offshore wind's share of electricity generation was 6.2 percent, with onshore wind accounting for 8.6 percent, according to statistics from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

A world leader in offshore wind, the U.K. is home to 37 offshore wind farms made up of almost 2,000 turbines, according to RenewableUK.

It also boasts the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm, the world's largest operational offshore wind farm. Located in the Irish Sea, Walney Extension has a total capacity of 659 megawatts and can power nearly 600,000 homes in the U.K., according to Danish energy firm Orsted.