By Emily Beament
Saturday, 24 April 2010
The UK has reached a milestone of installing 1 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind farms – enough to power 700,000 homes. It was achieved this week as two new wind farms off the coast began generating electricity.
The UK now has 11 offshore wind farms, with a total of 336 installed turbines, according to the industry body Renewables UK. A further 4GW of offshore wind farms are being constructed or have planning consent and a total of 40GW are at various stages of development.
Maria McCaffery, chief executive of the organisation, said hitting the 1GW mark in 10 years was a "tremendous step forward". "The UK offshore wind industry has come of age. In the last 10 years we have built a brand new world-leading industry sector that will create long-term value for this country."
She said that in the first quarter of this year, £500m of private investment had been poured into offshore wind in the UK.
"The opportunity now for this country is to build on this position of global leadership to develop the industrial and service supply chain to provide the equipment and skills that will embed Britain's competitive advantage in marine renewables," Ms McCaffery said.