The UK wind power market represents the sixth largest region on a global scale, with a cumulative installed capacity share of 2.7% in 2011. Wind power (both offshore and onshore) is the largest renewable source in the country and accounted for approximately 59% to the overall renewable capacity in the UK in year 2011.
Key factors driving growth within the UK wind power market include favourable policies, an attractive concession program, low interest rate funding and various other subsidies.
At the beginning of September 2012, the installed capacity of wind power in the UK was 6,858 megawatts (MW), with 357 operational wind farms and 3,873 wind turbines in the UK.
723 MW of new wind power capacity was brought online during 2011, a 40% decrease on 2010. 2012 is expected to be a significant year for the offshore wind industry with potentially 5 farms becoming operational with over 1,300 MW of generating capability.
Through the Renewables Obligation, British electricity suppliers are now required by law to provide a proportion of their sales from renewable sources such as wind power or pay a penalty fee. The supplier then receives a Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) for each MW-h of electricity they have purchased.
Siemens and Vestas dominate the offshore wind turbine supply market. Between them, they have an 89.9% market share (MW), Siemens - 50.3%, Vestas - 39.6%.
Siemens' latest plans for a new wind turbine manufacturing facility in the UK have taken a significant step forward, after the company announced in July it has inked a major new offshore-turbine supply deal with developer DONG energy.
The two companies have signed a framework agreement that will see Siemens supply 300 of its 6MW offshore turbines to offshore wind-farm projects planned by DONG for UK waters between 2014 and 2017.
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but analysts estimate that offshore turbines typically cost around €1.4m per MW, putting the total cost of the 1,800MW at €2.52 billion.
The UK wind power market is expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future - RenewableUK estimated in 2010 that more than 2,000 MW of capacity would be deployed per year for the next five years, and by 2020, the United Kingdom is expected to have more than 28,000 MW of wind capacity.
For more information on the UK wind power market, see the latest research: UK Wind Power Market
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