Giant UK wind farm backed as cheaper than nuclear

Projects owned by Germany’s Innogy Renewables and Denmark’s Dong Energy were among 11 winners of contracts that are worth up to 176 million pounds a year, it said.

Under the scheme, qualifying projects are guaranteed a minimum price at which they can sell electricity and renewable power generators bid for CfD contracts in a round of auctions.

The prices, which have fallen even further than forecast, compare with the £92.50 per MWh that the government committed consumers to pay the Hinkley Point nuclear plant for 35 years.

“The offshore wind sector alone will invest £17.5bn in the United Kingdom up to 2021 and thousands of new jobs in British businesses will be created by the projects announced today”, said energy and industry minister Richard Harrington.

Expectations among the offshore wind industry were high ahead of today’s announcement that the sector would deliver a serious improvement in costs. The boost to Britain’s low-carbon supply chain also serves as part of the government’s industrial strategy and an upcoming clean growth plan.

Britain’s auction for subsidies for renewable electricity cleared at a low of 58 pounds per megawatt hour (MWh) for offshore wind, the government said on Monday.

Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, said the massive price drop for offshore wind should be the “nail in the coffin” for new nuclear.

“The Government should now commit to this technology – and scale up investment in offshore wind so that it becomes the backbone of British energy”.

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