UK reaches landmark 1GW installed offshore wind capacity

Capacity reached as two offshore wind farms begin generating electricity.

The 1GW capacity comprises of 11 wind farms, or 336 installed wind turbines, according to trade association RenewableUK, and was reached as offshore windfarms Robin Rigg, operated by EON and Gunfleet Sands, operated by Dong Energy, began generating electricity.

"The UK is now the world leader in offshore wind energy generation. We are also set to be a center of manufacturing for offshore wind. We're creating the right conditions and incentives to maximize the potential of our wind resource so we can create thousands of new jobs and generate our own home-grown, clean, secure energy," said Ed Miliband, secretary of state at Department of Energy Climate Change.

Currently there are over 40GW of offshore wind farms at various stages of development, with over 4GW in construction or with planning consent.
The sector is set to provide 150+ TWh of carbon free electricity a year, compared to the UK's total electricity consumption in 2009 of 374TWh, creating up to 70,000 'green collar' jobs and attracting billions of pounds in investment.

''We are delighted to see the first gigawatt of installed wind energy capacity. It is an important milestone but we need to do much more if we are to cut carbon emissions and our reliance on fuel imported from abroad," said Simon Hughes, secretary of Liberal Democrat Shadow Energy and Climate Change. "Investing in infrastructure for a new green economy not only helps create jobs now but will allow Britain to take its place at the cutting edge of this growing industrial sector for the future."