Record-breaking year of growth for UK wind

A new study commissioned by RenewableUK TO assess the state of the wind industry from July 2012 to June 2013, reveals a step change in the offshore wind sector.

Installed capacity stood at 3,321 megawatts (MW) at the end of June 2013, up from 1,858MW 12 months earlier – an increase of 79 percent. The 1,463MW installed offshore marks the first year in which offshore deployment has outstripped onshore wind. Onshore, 1,258MW of new capacity came into operation, bringing the total installed onshore to 6,389MW – an increase of 25 percent.

Onshore and offshore, a total of 2,721MW were installed between July 2012 and June 2013, taking the UK’s total wind capacity up from 6,856 to 9,710MW – a 40 percent increase – enough to power more than five and a half million UK homes. The new capacity brought £2 billion of activity to the UK economy.

A small majority of RenewableUK’s member companies (54 percent) also said they expected to take on more staff over the next 18 months. The UK wind industry already employs over 16,500 people in direct full-time jobs.   

RenewableUK’s chief executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “We’ve smashed another record in the past year with more offshore wind installed than ever before – the 79 percent increase in capacity within 12 months is a terrific achievement. With onshore expanding by 25 percent, the wind industry as a whole has proved that it has the tenacity to achieve substantial growth.

“Tens of thousands more will be joining the industry over the rest of this decade as we build out the rest of the projects in the pipeline – as long as government policy is supportive and provides the right framework for one of this country’s greatest modern industrial and environmental success stories to reach its full potential.”