Wind Powers Record UK Renewable Output

(Europe) Exceeds Gas Share of Generation for First Time

Electricity generation from renewables in the UK hit record levels last year, as low strike prices drives demand for new turbine installations.

The latest figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show that renewable electricity generation increased 16 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, helped by mammoth increase in offshore capacity.

The world’s largest offshore wind project HornSea One started operations last year and has been a major source of breakbulk demand with 174 turbines installed at more than 100 kilometers from shore.

The rapid increase in capacity means that renewable output overtook the share of generation from gas for the first time, setting a new record and providing a commercial basis for more investment.

Offshore Overtakes Onshore

The rapid uptake of renewable in the energy mix provides momentum for the next wave of ultra-large wind farms, which are projected to require even larger components and drive a new wave of breakbulk activity.

“Wind remains the principal source of renewable generation … For the first time offshore wind had a larger share of renewable generation than onshore wind with 25.1 percent and 23.7 percent, respectively," a BEIS spokesperson said.

Oil Majors Invest

Oil majors Shell and Total have both backed major multibillion-dollar projects in recent months that promise to deliver large-scale wind power. The bigger of these is Shell’s NortH2 project, which will be the world's largest offshore wind project on completion, creating as much as 10 gigawatts of capacity.

The giant NortH2 project will be developed in conjunction with Groningen Seaports and with partner Gasunie, and will be connected to industrial-scale hydrogen electrolyzer and onshore infrastructure in Eemshaven, the Netherlands.

Offshore specialist Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering has meanwhile begun operations to transport multiple breakbulk foundation pieces for the Hornsea Two offshore wind farm in the UK.