For the first time, U.K. offshore wind has outpaced onshore installations in the region, according to a new report from RenewableUK. In addition, the report says the overall U.K. wind sector has surpassed 10 GW.
The study, which assesses the state of the wind industry from July 2012 to June 2013, says installed offshore capacity increased 1,463 MW and stood at 3,321 MW at the end of June. That's a 79% jump from 12 months earlier.
RenewableUK says four large-scale offshore projects went operational during the year-long period covered by the report: Greater Gabbard, Gunfleet Sands III, Sheringham Shoal, and London Array, which is currently the biggest offshore wind farm in the world at 630 MW.
Onshore, 1,258 MW of new capacity came into operation during the period, bringing the total installed onshore to 6,389 MW – an increase of 25%.
"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," comments Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK's chief executive. "With onshore expanding by 25 percent, the wind industry as a whole has proved that it has the tenacity to achieve substantial growth."
Onshore and offshore, a total of 2,721 MW were installed between July 2012 and June 2013, taking the U.K.'s total wind capacity up from 6,856 MW to 9,710 MW – a 40% increase. Since then, RenewableUK says total U.K. capacity has increased even more and reached 10,210 MW.