The Crown Estate has launched a unique interactive map that shows the estimated percentage of UK electricity demand being met by offshore wind on an hourly basis. For the first time, the map draws together a range of publically available data to demonstrate the contribution offshore wind is making to the UK’s low carbon energy mix. The UK now has 27 operational wind farms, with nearly 1500 turbines grown from the first two offshore demonstration turbines deployed in 2000.
Although there is variation in output on a daily basis, over the course of 2015 offshore wind is expected to meet an average of around 5% per cent of UK electricity demand. As the map is updated through-out the day it can reach highs of up to around 12% at peak operation. National Grid’s demand forecasting team enables variations in generation to be planned for and balanced across the system to ensure there is back-up power to cover low wind periods – and not too much in high wind periods.
Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure, said: “The UK has more offshore wind turbines installed than the rest of the world put together and remains the most attractive country to invest in globally, but its success as a UK infrastructure story is not well known. We hope this map will inspire greater understanding of this sector, which is on course to meet 10 per cent of the UK’s electricity demand by 2020 and is already making a significant contribution to a secure, low carbon energy mix for the UK.”
The map can be broken down by individual wind farms to show the site capacity, operator, number of turbines, and current output. It also shows wind speed and direction.
As part of its active asset management of the UK seabed, The Crown Estate plays an important role in the development of the offshore wind sector, from awarding leases through to bringing industry and partners together to share knowledge and best practice.