Building wind power in the UK
Wind power is an important way of generating renewable electricity and helping the UK achieve the government target of net zero by 2050. Find out more.
How does wind power work?
Blades turn a low-speed shaft inside the turbine that is connected to a gearbox. Its gearing then rotates a high-speed shaft up to 1,500 revolutions a minute. A generator converts this increase in kinetic energy into electricity. The electricity generated by wind parks travels to a high-voltage substation and on to the grid.
Why do we need more offshore wind?
More renewable energy, such as offshore wind, is critical for a cleaner energy future. How people live, work and play is increasingly going to need to be powered by lower-carbon electricity. Because wind generally blows stronger and steadier in seas and oceans than on land, building offshore wind farms will enable us to catch more of these powerful winds.
In the UK, offshore wind will become an increasingly important part of the energy mix as more is brought on to the grid to meet net zero targets. By 2030, the UK government plans to quadruple the country’s offshore wind capacity so as to generate more power than all UK homes use today.
What are floating wind farms?
Floating offshore wind is suitable for use in deeper water zones, where traditional fixed foundations are not feasible. For example, around 80% of Europe’s offshore wind resource is situated in waters too deep for conventional bottom-fixed wind turbines.
Floating wind turbines are anchored with mooring lines, instead of being fixed to the seabed. Floating platforms can be semi-submersible, spar and tension leg. Many of these are innovations pioneered in offshore oil and gas, in which Shell has decades of experience.
Find out more about offshore wind
How many jobs in the UK could be supported by offshore wind power?
What are challenges for floating wind farm development?
What new investments in floating wind power does Shell have planned?
What skills do you need to work on a floating wind farm?
How much do floating wind farms cost to build?
What emissions are associated with building floating wind farms?
Do floating offshore wind farms impact the fishing industry?
Shell UK wind projects
Shell is building an integrated power business in the UK spanning electricity generation, trading and supply. We continue to look at opportunities to invest in offshore wind generation, including innovative wind technologies such as floating wind.
Shell and ScottishPower are gearing up to build floating wind projects with a total capacity of 5 gigawatts as part of Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing. Through our MarramWind and CampionWind projects off the east and north-east coast of Scotland, we could bring clean energy to power the equivalent of 6 million homes. The development, construction and operation of ScotWind projects is set to deliver new skilled jobs and manufacturing opportunities as well as boost local supply chains. Shell and ScottishPower aim to invest £50 million in ScotWind supply chain funding for our joint ventures.
Through Shell Energy, which leads our supply and trading activities, we have several agreements to buy renewable power generated by Dogger Bank off the north-east coast of England. It is set to become the world's largest offshore wind farm. Shell's latest offtake will be the annual equivalent of powering more than 200,000 homes.
Shell has also signed an agreement with Simply Blue Group to acquire a majority share of their Western Star venture, which aims to build a floating wind farm off the Clare coast of Ireland. We also have a similar agreement with the group to jointly develop the Emerald floating wind project off the south coast of Ireland.
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