Scotland’s utility giants help UK offshore renewable wind energy sector thrive with record £4.1bn investment in 2016.

The Beatrice offshore wind farm breaks ground in Morayshire in October 2016
The Beatrice offshore wind farm development breaks ground in Morayshire in October 2016

Investment activity in the British offshore windfarm sector reached a record high in 2016, as the total construction value for projects reached £4.1 billion, increasing from £2.45 billion in 2015.

Projects from Perth-based Scottish & Southern Energy, and Glasgow-based Scottish Power – two of the British Big Six energy supply giants – are among the major developments responsible for this growth.

According to the latest data from construction industry analysts Barbour ABI, offshore windfarms alone accounted for 42% of UK construction contract value in the utilities and power sector and 21% of the entire infrastructure sector.

This trend is likely to continue with the pipeline for future offshore wind developments looking healthy, with Barbour ABI reporting that £23.2 billion pounds worth of construction contract value is in planning.

In particular, the three projects that made a significant difference to the increase in construction contract value for offshore wind farms in 2016 were the Beatrice project in the Moray Firth (being developed by a Perth-based utility) and the Galloper and East Anglia-1 offshore wind farm projects south of the Border.

Together, these are worth a combined £3 billion pounds, which once constructed will produce over 1,600 MW of renewable energy per hour.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “Back in 2013 offshore windfarms accounted for only 7.5 per cent of the annual construction value for the utilities and power sector, which increased to 42 per cent in 2016, on the back of significant investment in this type of project.

“With reports showing that the cost of producing electricity in this way have fallen significantly, the increase in construction value makes sense.”

“We have also seen a large uptake in the planning pipeline for future offshore windfarms with £23.2 billion worth of construction planned over the coming years, suggesting this burgeoning sector will continue to expand in 2017 and beyond.”

Meanwhile, the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation has launched an English version of its website, at

Glasgow-based Scottish Power – the UK subsidiary of Spain’s Iberdrola energy giant – also has development interests in German offshore wind power projects in the Baltic Sea.

“The Offshore wind energy sector is becoming increasingly international.  With the enriched content of our English website we will be able to better inform non-German speaking stakeholders”, said Andreas Wagner, Managing Director of the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation.

The English-language website provides up-to-date information on recent developments in the German Offshore-Wind sector as well as detailed information about national and international projects in which the foundation is involved.

Important data such as the German Offshore Wind Energy Map, the events directory and a media library are now also available in English.

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