Offshore wind supplied 6.2% of the UK's electricity in 2017 and is on track to meet a 10% target by 2020, according to the Crown Estate.

A total of 33 fully operational wind farms featuring 1762 turbines were working in UK waters at the end of 2017, the seabed manager said in its sixth annual Offshore Wind Operational Report. 

A further eight offshore projects were under construction, which will add a further 1161 machines.

Seven new offshore wind farms started generating power for the first time last year, with four becoming fully operational, the report said.

The Crown Estate added that the UK offshore wind sector now has a greater efficiency of commissioning and project management during the power up phase and handover to operations, with the average build rate increasing fivefold between 2015 and 2017.

The sector is also attracting a wider pool of financial investors, such as energy/infrastructure and pension funds, it added.

Crown Estate director of energy, minerals and infrastructure Huub den Rooijen said: “2017 has been a milestone year for the UK offshore wind sector, the busiest yet for construction and delivering more electricity than ever before. 

“This latest report showcases an increasingly mature sector, delivering large-scale, low-carbon power, with record low bid prices for future projects, making the most of the UK’s world-class seabed resources and creating jobs opportunities across the country.”

Image: The Crown Estate