Token Sale

Wind Energy in United Kingdom

2021 wind energy numbers

Less favourable weather conditions during 2021 contributed to renewable energy generation falling by 9.5% from 2020 to 121.9 TWh in 2021, although this figure is still the second highest on record. Renewables share of total energy generation fell from 43% to 39% from 2020 to 2021.

In general, total energy production fell to its lowest level in over 50 years due to maintenance in the North Sea and disruptions in nuclear output. Energy demand increased by 5.4% from 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions were eased. However, this figure was still down 8% from 2019. Of the total annual electricity generated from renewables, wind energy provided 53% (29% offshore & 24% onshore). Offshore wind capacity grew by 873 MW in 2021 to 11.2 GW of cumulative capacity. In terms of onshore capacity, 372 MW was added in 2021, taking the total to 14.5 GW. Despite a greater annual growth in offshore capacity than onshore, only onshore wind saw a corresponding increase in generation from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021.

Research in the wind sector is focused on driving efficiency in O&M through collaboration between industry, academia, and the public sector. Tackling the challenge of grid integration will be vital as wind energy grows beyond 40GW. In addition, it will be vital to develop the local supply chain, deliver on ambitious targets, and maximise the benefit of the sector to the UK economy.

To learn more about wind energy in the UK, please review their chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2021 Annual Report.



Total wind power capacity is 25,700 MW.


Wind power capacity in the UK increased by 11,200 MW in 2021.


UK produces 64.5 TWh from wind energy, which accounts for 22.6% of the country’s electricity consumption.

National Targets

The UK government has allocated over £380m in its Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 to boost the offshore wind sector in the country. The amount is expected to support the British government’s goal of reaching 40GW offshore wind capacity by 2030. The Budget and Spending Review 2021 presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has also confirmed an investment of £160m in offshore wind power hubs. According to the government, the investment will help create and protect at least 2,500 jobs in the wider North-East of England. This will enable the sector to support up to 60,000 jobs by the end of this decade, said the government.

The fourth round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which aims to secure 12GW of electricity capacity, opens with £285 million a year of funding for low-carbon technology. The fourth round aims to secure more capacity than the three previous rounds combined with additional offshore wind capacity that could generate electricity equivalent to powering around eight million homes. Offshore wind will be supported by £200 million in funding a year, with £24 million initially allocated for floating offshore wind.

Progress & Operational Details

Renewable energy generation fell by 9.5% in 2021, although this is still the second-highest annual generation on record after 2020. While generation from both solar and hydro decreased in 2021, the largest fall for renewable technologies came from the wind with an 11 TWh decrease from 2020 due to less favourable weather conditions. Offshore wind supplied 35 TWh of electricity, while onshore wind supplied 29 TWh, despite a greater onshore cumulative capacity. The average load factor for offshore wind was 37% and for onshore wind 23%, both down on 2020 figures due to lower wind speeds in 2021.

In total, renewable energy capacity grew by 1.6 GW in 2021, a rise of 3.4% from 2020 after the recommencement of projects that were delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Wind power increased by 1.2 GW, of which offshore installed wind capacity by 873 MW in 2021. The average rating of new offshore turbines installed was 9.3 MW, an increase of over 2MW from 2020 as developers continue to scale up turbine ratings. The first power was generated in December 2021 from Hornsea Two, which will become the largest offshore wind farm in the world once fully operational, with 165 8MW turbines supplying 1.3GW.

National RDD Priorities and Budget

Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme: The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a £180m programme to support manufacturing investment in the supply chain, including blades, towers, export, and array cables, and other strategically important components.

DASA Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence Phase 2: As part of the BEIS £3.6mil Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, this Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition sought technology proposals to permit the coexistence of future offshore wind farms alongside UK Air Defence surveillance systems.

BEIS Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) Demonstration Programme: This £31.6m programme consists of seven projects demonstrating an innovative technology to reduce costs and increase floating offshore wind turbine deployment rates.

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) announced two £3.5m funding initiatives in 2021, focusing on improving capability, increasing competitiveness, and driving forward business growth within offshore wind and its supply chain.

Token Sale