The UK’s overall pipeline of onshore wind projects has increased by over 4GW in the last twelve months, says RenewableUK.
The Onshore Wind EnergyPulse report released by RenewableUK has indicated that the UK pipeline for onshore wind projects has increased from 33GW in October 2021 to 37GW today. This is an increase of 4GW showcasing the rise in popularity for renewable energy generation.
Included in this rise are projects that are in operation, under construction, consented or in planning.
The report also showcases that only 0.34GW has gone fully operational in the last 12 months. Despite this, the amount of capacity either under construction or consented in the UK has increased by 1.1GW to 6.8GW – a substantial increase on previous years.
RenewableUK has also found that the majority of projects are situated in Scotland with around 78% of the total pipeline located in the Northern country. Should all projects be developed in the pipeline, the UK would have 29.8GW of onshore wind capacity operational by the end of 2030. This could increase to 34GW by the end of 2031.
“We can’t tackle the energy crisis without onshore wind – it’s one of our cheapest sources of new power and once projects have the go-ahead they can be up and running within a year,” said Dan McGrail, CEO of RenewableUK.
“Despite the Government publishing its Energy Security Strategy in April, Ministers still haven’t set a target for onshore wind in the UK, and they’ve only tentatively opened up the conversation about removing the block on onshore wind in England.
“We need to see a commitment of at least 30GW of onshore wind by 2030 and local communities across the UK being given the chance to benefit from generation in their area where it has local support.”
The increase in the onshore wind capacity coincides with an increasing focus on renewable energy generation. Ørsted last week revealed the “world’s largest” wind farm entered full operation boasting 1.3GW of renewable energy generation.
Comprised of 165 wind turbines, the Hornsea 2 project situated 89km off the coast of Yorkshire is expected to significantly contribute to the growing demand for renewable energy in light of the government’s ambition in having 50GW of offshore wind capacity in operation by 2030.
RenewableUK published earlier this year a manifesto for a fully decarbonised electricity system by 2035, setting out key measures such as market and regulatory reforms needed to cut emissions.
The report urged the government to act in order to accelerate the pace and scale of decarbonisation dramatically, to reduce the UK’s exposure to the volatile international gas market by expanding domestic renewable generation and rapidly develop a green hydrogen industry.