The UK is leading the world in installed offshore wind capacity, and The Crown Estate has utilised the UK’s advantageous geographical position to harness offshore wind power. This has included three leasing rounds of the seabed for offshore wind farm development which in total, including existing and new offshore wind and marine renewable energy programmes, could provide around a third of the UK’s electricity requirements.
The Crown Estate manages a multi-billion pound property and land portfolio across the UK. It has extensive marine assets throughout the country, including 55 per cent of the foreshore, approximately half of the estuary beds and tidal rivers, and owns virtually the entire seabed out to 12 nautical miles, including the rights to explore and utilise the natural resources of the UK continental shelf (excluding oil, gas and coal).
By 2020 around 25 per cent of the UK’s electricity resources are expected to come from marine renewable energy resources on The Crown Estate’s seabed, and a further 25-50 per cent of the UK’s electricity supply could rely on storing CO2 within The Crown Estate’s seabed. As a consequence, over half a million jobs could be created in the renewable energy industry over the next two decades.
In 2000, The Crown Estate ran Round 1 of offshore wind farm licensing and Round 2 followed in 2003. Rounds 1 and 2 have the potential to deliver around 8GW of offshore wind energy into the UK national grid. Currently there is 1GW of installed and operating capacity.
In January this year, the UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, joined The Crown Estate to announce the Round 3 development partners. Round 3 increases the scale of offshore wind and allows developers to plan for the longer term requirements of offshore wind power, including making the necessary commitments to the supply chain.
In addition to these projects, The Crown Estate completed a programme of offshore wind farm licensing within Scottish territorial waters. Separate from Rounds 1, 2 and 3, this programme aims to deliver an additional 6.5GW of offshore wind energy with a potential market investment of £20 billion.
For more information on wind and tidal energy opportunities please contact The Crown Estate.
Did you enjoy this article?
We respect your privacy and will never share your information with third parties.