Given the prominence of the climate crisis, it's important to get some estimates of how much wind power is available in Britain as part of a renewably energised future.

Q. What is yearly average of wind energy available on the landmass on Britain.

And how much does this work per metre squared?

More, given that for some they can be unsightly, how much yearly wind energy is available on the island shelf around Britain, say up to 30 km; and again what is the average per square metre? How does this compare with the yearly energy consumption in Britain?

Thank you.


2 Answers 2


2.2TWe on average in the seas...

The uk uses less than 350 Gigawatts every year, so the sea can provide about 6 times the current UK energy consumption:

80 GW in shallow waters (0-25 m)

270 GW in seas of depth 25-50m

(up to there is sufficient to meet all of the UK's 2016 energy consumption)... There is also:

790GW in seas of 50-100m

1030GW at 100m-700m



For onshore resources, you can add another 100GWh.


Regarding renewable energies, there is a great book freely available: https://www.withouthotair.com/ written by David MacKay. At the time he was the Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

He estimated that onshore you can produce (realistically)

if we covered the windiest 10% of the country with windmills (delivering 2 W/m2), we would be able to generate 20 kWh/d per person, which is half of the power used by driving an average fossil-fuel car 50 km per day.

(see https://www.withouthotair.com/c4/page_32.shtml and following pages)

Consumption in the UK was, at the time (2009), on average 195 kWh per day per person.


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