The UK created more than half of Europe’s new offshore wind capacity last year
In 2017 the UK’s newly installed offshore wind facilities accounted for more than 50% of Europe’s additional capacity.
The UK installed 53% - or 1.68MW – of the continent’s total capacity, which reached 3.15GW.
According to WindEurope, the capacity tops the previous record set in 2015, and is a 25% improvement from 2016.
There are more than 500 turbines connected to the grid, with the average one installed in 2017 having more than one fifth greater capacity than any previously installed generators.
Approximately 17 offshore wind farms were on average a third more powerful than older farms.
This year also saw the first installation of floating offshore wind generators – with France inaugurating its single floating turbine, and Statoil launching Hywind Scotland.
Developers of offshore wind are currently aiming for the use of 8MW to 9MW turbines, which goals for reaching 13MW to 15MW by 2023.
“We’ll be beyond that in the next decade, there’s no reason to think we won’t,” the Gaurdian announced Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, saying.
Dickson was noted saying that we are yet to reach restrictions on wind turbines, enabling their capacity to grow.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.