Wind Energy in the UK: Progress and Future Expectations

  • Abdul Salam DarwishEmail author
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


Renewables proved to play an important role in significantly reducing the emissions associated with electricity and the non-renewable energy supply. Wind energy as with the other renewables in the UK has the first choice option for the modern power systems. It is now competitive with conventional sources and commanded 90%. By 2020, the UK has a target to generate 15% from renewables to meet the energy demand of which 33–35 GW of installed wind capacity is to be achieved. The main drivers for wind energy developments are the societal understanding, renewable obligations, contracts for difference and other governmental policies that supported a sharp increase in the wind capacity for both onshore and offshore generation. In addition, the cost of the wind turbine technology has fallen by nearly one-third since 2009. This has reflected in an increase in the auctions held to deploy wind projects over the last 7 years, resulting in an increased number of projects that are either in operation, under construction, consented or/and planning. Investment is sharply increasing and many applications have already submitted for the coming 10 years. The country’s total capacity has reached up to date to about 14.6 GW and power generated 38,907 GWh supplied to 9.8 million homes in the UK which show a very good progress towards the EU targets. The chapter reviews all kinds of wind energy projects in the UK, their progress and expectations for the future including what will Brexit mean for the environment and Britain’s wind energy targets. Data are provided in forms of tables and charts.


UK wind energy Wind energy Wind farms Onshore wind farm Offshore wind farm Wind capacity 


  1. 1.
    I. Leung, Australia’s solar industry: threats and opportunities (2011), Accessed 9 Dec 2015
  2. 2.
    P. Koekoek, 7 powerful charts that prove renewable energy is not “hippie talk” (2017). Retrieved from
  3. 3.
    L. Tyler, WWEA: global wind expected to reach 500 GW by year-end (2016). Retrieved from North American Wind Power:
  4. 4.
    A.S. Darwish, Wind Energy Potential in the UK. Lecture Notes and Private Contributions (Phoenix Renewable Energy Centre, Manchester, 2017)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    en.m.wikipedia, Wind power in the United Kingdom (2017). Retrieved from Wikipedia:
  6. 6.
    Vaughan, Almost 90% of new power in Europe from renewable sources in 2016 (2017). Retrieved from the Guardian:
  7. 7.
    Government, Electricity statistics (2016),, Accessed 10 Feb 2017
  8. 8.
    RenewableUK, Onshore Wind (2017). Retrieved from renewableUK:
  9. 9.
    S. Ashworth-Hayes, The UK’s renewable energy target (2017). Retrieved from Full Fact:
  10. 10.
    en.wikipedia, Renewable energy in the United Kingdom (2017). Retrieved from
  11. 11.
    D. Elliott, REFIT ‘Feed in-Tariffs’, the UK renewables obligation and the new EU directive (2008). Retrieved from THE ROBERT GORDON UNIVERSITY: Scholar
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
    G.W. Schlissel, Electricity Grid Transition in the U.K. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Cleveland, 2017)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    G. Dolphin, 2020 signposts (2013). Retrieved from National Grid:
  15. 15.
    reve, 8 countries that produce the most wind energy in the world (2016). Retrieved from Evwind:
  16. 16.
    Metoffice, Where are the windiest parts of the UK (2015). Retrieved from Met Office:
  17. 17.
    S.D.A. Cavazzi, An Offshore Wind Energy Geographic Information System (OWE-GIS). Renew. Energy 87, 212–228 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
  19. 19.
    D. F. Government, Offshore wind: part of the UK’s energy mix (2013), Gov.ukGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
  21. 21.
    S. Shankleman, Updated: top 10 UK onshore wind farms (2012). Retrieved from Business Green:
  22. 22.
    The wind power (2017). Retrieved from The wind Power:
  23. 23.
    Wind Farms (2017). Retrieved from 4C Offshore:
  24. 24.
    londonarray, The project (2017). Retrieved from London Array:
  25. 25.
    N. Pincott, UK offshore wind: what impact is Brexit likely to have on the UK’s offshore wind industry? (2016). Retrieved from Norton Rose Fulbright:

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Phoenix Renewable Energy CentreManchesterUK
  2. 2.University of BoltonBoltonUK

Personalised recommendations