Installed wind capacity in the UK has hit the 20GW milestone, following the commissioning of Orsted’s 659MW Walney 3 offshore wind farm, according to industry group RenewableUK.
Total operational capacity of onshore and offshore wind in the UK is currently 20,128MW, R-UK said.
The UK’s first commercial onshore wind farm, Delabole in Cornwall, became operational in 1991, and the first offshore wind project in Blyth started generating in 2000.
Wind deployment grew to 5GW in 2010, before expanding to 10GW in 2013 and 15GW in early 2017, R-UK said.
R-UK executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: “It took 14 years to install the first 5GW of wind energy in the UK and we’ve now installed the same amount in under two years.
“That phenomenal growth shows just how quickly the UK is moving to a smart, low carbon power system and wind energy is at the heart of that.
“Over half of the UK’s wind energy capacity is onshore, which is the cheapest option for new power. However, government policy preventing onshore wind from competing for new power contracts means that consumers will miss out on low-cost power that will keep bills down.
“We’re confident that offshore wind alone can reach at least 30GW by 2030 to become the backbone of a clean, reliable and affordable energy system.”
The 20GW milestone coincided with the 40th anniversary of the founding of RenewableUK, which was originally founded as the British Wind Energy Association in 1978.