Onshore wind in the UK experiences strong growth reaching an installed total of 14 GW

The UK is aiming to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and there is a planned onshore wind pipeline in the country totalling 23 GW.
Onshore wind in the UK experiences strong growth reaching an installed total of 14 GW
Courtesy of Sarens.

Thus far, the UK has installed more than 14 GW of onshore wind. The development of onshore wind farms in the country will generate more jobs, especially in rural and disadvantaged areas. According to a study by RenewableUK the planned installations could generate up to 31,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2035.

Onshore wind is also one of the cheapest ways to generate electricity and so can lower consumers electricity bills. According to one government estimate, the levelised cost of onshore wind could be around £40/MWh by 2025, which would make it cheaper than gas and nuclear.

To achieve these ambitious targets and enjoy the benefits, by 2030 the UK would need to build at least 35 GW of onshore wind power. This implies that an installation rate of around 2 GW per year would be required.  In the second quarter of 2023, a record 1.5 GW of power was planned at just 18 sites, again suggesting a significant increase in onshore wind power in the future.

Currently, 84 sites are in the pre-application phase, and are expected to submit a full application for a total of 7.1 GW in the next few years. In turn, there are 95 sites with 6.1 GW currently in the planning phase and awaiting approval. Finally, planning permits have been granted for 8.1 GW at 332 sites, with construction likely to begin in the next few years.

The average time for completion of a large-scale wind farm from submission to planning is about five years. Projects submitted in 2019 are expected to be built in the near future, assuming political and environmental factors are conducive to full construction.

Sarens, global specialist in heavy lifting, engineered transport and crane rental, is currently trying to position itself as a leading company in the construction and maintenance of onshore wind farms. It has extensive experience in the UK, with state-of-the-art equipment, and also has extensive international experience in the development and maintenance of projects related to wind energy, such as the one developed in Sweden in the Markbygden wind farm, in the project for Navantia in St.Brieuc or even South Africa in the Karusa and Soetwater plants. The most recent of all in La Rochelle, where Sarens has transported parts of up to 980T and 62 metres to the St.Nazaire wind farm.

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