Revised UK estimate could create “a more attractive financing proposition”

A new report has claimed variations in offshore wind speeds around the UK are significantly lower than previously thought.

The report by DNV GL on behalf of the Crown Estate found the industry standard estimate of 6 per cent inter-annual variability (IAV), which was adopted in the 1990s, should be lowered to between 4.5 per cent and 5 per cent around British waters.

The new figure was established through new regional wind speed indices for offshore areas, where windfarms are, or have been built.

The Crown Estate’s senior development manager, Matthew Clear, said the lower viability figures will help the offshore wind industry “create a more attractive financing proposition for investors” and drive down costs in the long term.

“This report reveals a significant improvement in our understanding of the UK’s offshore wind resource,” added Clear.

The report’s findings have also been presented to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61400-15 working group and the UK Wind Resource Group.

“Whilst the study focused on IAV for UK offshore wind, the methods used could have a positive impact on financing for the wilder global wind sector,” said an IEC spokesman.

“For this reason, the wind resource experts meeting as part of the IEC 61400-15 working group were consulted to peer review the work and consider the implications for industry practice and standards.”

The Crown Estate report comes as the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult claimed the UK’s offshore wind industry could be worth as much as £2.9 billion to the British economy by 2030.

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