UK Wind Energy Costs

UK Wind Energy Costs Could Fall by 30 Percent

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted June 15, 2012

According to reports by both wind industry and the UK government, offshore wind power generation prices could plummet by almost one-third by the end of the decade in the UK, thus making it commercially viable.

As reported in the Guardian UK, this recent revelation will add fuel to the already raging fire between the supporters and opponents of wind power.

In one report from the Crown Estate, the keys to bringing down the price of offshore wind in this time frame are bigger turbines, greater competition among suppliers, better designed windfarms, economies of scale, better installation methods and mass production of deep water foundations. Not to mention proving the low risk of wind to investors.

The issue in the UK has been how big a role offshore wind should play in the energy picture. This means billions are at stake in terms of investment. If the necessary investment happens, the drop in price of offshore wind could be to the tune of $4.6 billion and generate approximately one-fifth of the UK’s electricity.

Current generation costs are around $217/MWh, but could drop to $155/MWh by 2020. In fact, government ministers have stated that 18 GW by 2020, which is more than an eight-fold increase from today’s capacity, is entirely attainable.

“Driving down costs is much more than an aspiration—the industry is working closely with key stakeholders such as the Crown Estate to chart the course ahead, laying out action plans which are credible and achievable. This will enable the sector to grow from strength to strength—not only generating low-carbon electricity and giving us a secure supply of energy, but also creating tens of thousands of jobs and revitalizing manufacturing throughout the UK,” Renewable UK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery said.