In 2018, offshore wind farms supplied 8 per cent of the UK’s total estimated electricity generation. This capacity was developed over three previous leasing rounds administered by the Crown Estate.

Round 1 was aimed at “testing the technology”, providing prospective developers with the opportunity to gain technological, economic and environmental expertise in UK waters. It catered for small-scale projects of up to 30 turbines. A total of 18 sites were awarded, representing a combined capacity of over 1 GW. 

Round 2 involved first projects at commercial scale with 7 GW of capacity awarded. 

Round 3 brought what the Crown Estate called “transformative growth” with rights to over 32 GW of capacity awarded across nine zones. To date, 24 GW of projects from Round 3 have been or are being developed, a number of which are under construction or in operation. 

Round 4, now in full swing as detailed in the report on page 1, is described by the Crown Estate as “our first leasing opportunity of this scale in a decade, creat[ing] the opportunity for at least 7GW of new projects in the waters around England and Wales”. 

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