Welcome to IEA Wind Member Country Activities for the
United Kingdom 2011
The United Kingdom (UK) has approximately 40% of Europe’s entire wind resource and significant potential for both onshore and offshore wind. The UK government has put in place a range of measures to enable the deployment of that potential resource and is committed to ensuring the further growth of wind generation in the UK. The UK signed up in 2009 to an EU target of 20% of primary energy (electricity, heat, and transport) from renewables sources. The UK contribution to that target is 15% by 2020. Wind, particularly offshore wind, will be an important contributor to this target.
In 2010, total wind capacity in the UK was 5.27GW, representing 2.8% of the UK’s national electricity demand, an increase of 876 MW from the 2009 figure (a 16.5% increase). Offshore wind generation increased 75% in terms of electricity generated between 2009 and 2010.
The new government elected in May 2010 continues to prioritize renewable energy. In late 2010, it published a consultation document on Electricity Market Reform (EMR) examining the reforms necessary to achieve the government’s objectives on decarbonization, renewable energy, security of supply, and affordability. This EMR will develop and deliver a new market framework for the cost effective delivery of secure supplies of low carbon energy.
Other advances in 2010 included:
• Development rights were granted for up to 32 GW of new offshore wind generation (by The Crown Estate) under Round 3 offshore wind leases. The total acreage awarded in UK waters is now about 47.1GW.
• A Feed-In Tariff (FIT scheme) was introduced to incentivize small-scale (less than 5 MW), low-carbon electricity generation including small-scale onshore wind.
• A scoping exercise was completed for the Strategic Environment Assessment of a draft plan to enable future renewable leasing for offshore wind, wave, and tidal devices and licensing/leasing for seaward oil and gas rounds, hydrocarbon, and carbon dioxide gas storage.
• The Scottish government announced a consultation on ‘The strategic Environmental Assessment and Development Plan for Offshore Wind,’ setting out proposals for the sector in Scotland up to 2020 and beyond.
• The UK government launched a scheduled review of the Renewable Obligation banding levels. A consultation on banding proposals will be held in summer 2011 and confirm the new bands in autumn 2011. Changes will come into effect on 1 April 2013 (with the exception of offshore wind for which changes come into effect on 1 April 2014). At present, the offshore wind industry receives 2 ROCS per MWh for stations accrediting between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2014.
• A Green Investment Bank was established to overcome barriers to investment in renewable energy projects.