New data by Labour Energy Forum[1] is released as UK government unveils £290 million renewable energy subsidies showing rapidly plummeting costs of offshore wind energy.[2]

  • Just over half of the UK’s offshore wind installations are owned by public entities – and almost entirely foreign ones. 31.5% belongs to Danish state-owned company DONG.
  • The UK public purse controls 0.07% of current offshore wind capacity: a single wind turbine.
  • UK public missing out on huge revenues and job creation potential by not owning offshore windfarms.

'Who owns the wind, owns the future'. Report by Labour Energy ForumContact:
Mika Minio-Paluello / 07733466038 /
Sakina Sheikh /
Download the report (PDF)

As the government is about to release data on renewables subsidies, Labour Energy Forum’s report[2] released today provides the first breakdown of UK’s offshore wind capacity by ownership status.

In July 2017 Shadow BEIS Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey asked the Government to confirm how much of the UK offshore wind sector was owned by UK investors and companies. The government declined to provide any statistics, so analysis by Labour Energy Forum now fills this gap.   

The report shows:

  • 7.3% of the UK’s offshore wind generating capacity is owned by UK entities
  • 92.7% is owned by non-UK entities
  • 51.2% of UK offshore wind is publicly-owned
  • 0.07% is owned by UK public entities

31.5% of the generating capacity (3,280MW) belongs to Danish state-owned company DONG, which has just been awarded a subsidy to build the world’s largest wind turbine. The City of Munich’s energy utility Stadtwerke Munchen owns 173MW worth of offshore wind electricity generation in the UK and 4.3% of Europe’s overall offshore wind energy generation.

Report author Mika Minio-Paluello said,

“How come German cities own some of the largest windfarms in the UK, while our cities miss out? The Tories are privatising the wind right under our noses. The sell-off of UK wind to foreign and private companies will leave the public hurting for decades. Public ownership of offshore wind is a huge opportunity to revive coastal communities, create tens of thousands of jobs, and build a public revenue stream well into the twenty-first century.”

The top 5 owners of UK offshore wind are revealed as:

  1. DONG (Public – Denmark) 3280 MW – 31.5%
  2. ScottishPower-Iberdrola (Private – Spain) 909 MW – 8.7%
  3. EON (Private – Germany) 852 MW – 8.2%
  4. Innogy (Private–Germany) 669 MW – 6.4%
  5. Vattenfall (Public–Sweden) 608 MW – 5.9%

Shadow BEIS secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, who contributed an introduction to the report, said,

“One of the Labour Party’s core missions is to ensure that 60 per cent of the UK’s energy comes from zero-carbon renewable sources by 2030. Offshore wind will play an important role in meeting this target. But we must also ensure that the transition to a low carbon future is just. This is why Labour not only supports investment and real proactive support for the renewables sector but we also commit to ensuring more rapid growth and diversification of ownership within this important sector through the creation of publicly owned and locally accountable energy companies and co-operatives. As such, ‘Who owns the wind, owns the future’ from the Labour Energy Forum provides an important analysis of current ownership in the offshore wind sector and models of public ownership.”


  1. Labour Energy Forum is a think tank of Labour Party members coming together to debate and promote a just, progressive, democratic energy future.

1 Comment

Mike Parr · November 8, 2017 at 8:36 pm

The situation is somewhat worse than outlined. The Tories are not “privatising wind” they are lettting foreign state owned entities buy into UK off-shore “real-estate”. In the case of Oersted (ex-Dong) the company is global with operations in the USA and Taiwan. The Danish gov has just made agreements with China & the USA-Trump administration (strange but true) to help them develop their off-shore wind resource. You can guess who might be the beneficiaries (& good luck to the Danes). The Uk has an of-shore wind resource estimated at up to 600GW: almost enough to power Europe. The question to be answerd is: will this resource be exploited by UK companies, employing UK people and paying taxes in the UK, or, as the Tories would seem to want it, by an array of foreign companies playing fast & loose with tax and bringing minimal benefits to the UK. Labour needs to get its act together in this area. It needs an industrial strategy and financing fit for purpose – aimed at UK companies. Financing needs to be in the £10s of billions over 10s of years. Doing this would transform the north of the UK.

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