25 January 2024

As renewable energy developers specialising in wind power, solar power, and battery energy storage, we are at the forefront of the global shift towards cleaner, sustainable energy sources¹


Wind energy has emerged as a promising source of renewable energy in the face of growing concerns about climate change and the need for sustainable energy sources. The two primary types of wind farms that harness this energy are onshore and offshore. This article provides a comparative analysis of these two types of wind farms, looking at their location and installation, energy production, maintenance and operational costs.


Onshore Wind Farms: Powering Progress on Land


Onshore wind farms, located on land, have been capturing and converting wind power since the 1880s. Today, there are more than 1,500 operational onshore wind farms across Great Britain alone, generating over 12 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity².


Onshore wind farms offer several advantages. The turbines are typically easier and cheaper to install due to their proximity to existing infrastructure. They also create jobs, contributing to the 400,000 jobs needed in the energy sector to deliver net zero by 2050². While onshore turbines may have lower average wind speeds than offshore, they can still be highly productive, especially when strategically located in windy regions.


One of the most significant benefits of onshore wind farms is the opportunity they provide for landowners, particularly farmers. Farmers with wind farms on their land can continue to farm around the turbines. They receive lease payments for renting their land for the wind farms, providing a stable, long-term income³ that can help with the unpredictable nature of agricultural prices. This allows farmers to diversify their land use and earn an extra income while still farming the land and grazing animals


Offshore Wind Farms: Harnessing the Power of the Sea


Offshore wind farms are located in bodies of water and generate electricity from wind blowing across the sea. They require specialised equipment and vessels for installation and maintenance, making them more expensive to construct and maintain. 


However, offshore wind turbines are typically larger and taller than those at onshore wind farms. This difference can increase a wind turbine’s efficiency by 34%. The wind at sea is also stronger and less turbulent than on land, which means more power can be generated more reliably¹.




Both onshore and offshore wind farms play a crucial role in the transition to a carbon-free electricity system. While they differ in their position, size, scale, and how the electricity they generate is transferred, they both contribute significantly to the growth of renewable energy worldwide¹.


The choice between the two often depends on specific project goals, available resources, and environmental considerations. As technology advances, both types will continue to play a crucial role in our transition to renewable energy.


As we continue to develop and harness these renewable energy sources, we are not only contributing to a more sustainable future but also empowering communities, creating jobs, and providing opportunities for landowners to diversify their income.




1. McKinsey & Company. (2022). Renewable Energy Development in a Net-zero World. [online] Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/electric-power-and-natural-gas/our-insights/renewable-energy-development-in-a-net-zero-world. [Accessed 25 Jan. 2024].

2. National Grid Group. (2022). Onshore vs offshore wind energy: what’s the difference? [online] Available at: https://www.nationalgrid.com/stories/energy-explained/onshore-vs-offshore-wind-energy [Accessed 25 Jan. 2024].

3. Green Switch Capital Ltd. (2023). Wind energy. [online] Available at: https://www.gscapital.uk/technologies/wind-energy [Accessed 25 Jan. 2024].