Cost of electricity from offshore windfarms drops by a third in just four years

'The first time we can really say we expect offshore wind to be in the next decade on the same sort of cost structure as other power generators'

Ian Johnston
Environment Correspondent
Tuesday 24 January 2017 11:24
comments
The biggest cluster of offshore wind farms in Europe lies off Grimsby
The biggest cluster of offshore wind farms in Europe lies off Grimsby

The cost of electricity produced by offshore wind turbines has fallen by a third in just four years, according to a new report.

The analysis, by Dong Energy and other firms, found that the average cost during 2015/16 was £97 per megawatt hour (mwh), according to the Financial Times.

In 2012, the industry was asked by the UK Government to reduce prices to £100 per mwh within eight years, but the target has been reached in about half that time.

​Benj Sykes, UK manager for wind power at Dong, said: “It’s very significant.

“Our efforts have brought the cost down way faster than we set in our own target.

“We’ve seen other renewable technologies do this in other parts of the world, but this is the first time we can really say we expect offshore wind to be in the next decade on the same sort of cost structure as other power generators.”

Larger turbines and better techniques for building turbines at sea has helped drive down the cost.

The £97 per mwh figure is based on the cost over the 20 to 25-year lifetime of the wind farms.

Offshore windfarms have recently been guaranteed prices of £114 and £119 per mwh over a 15-year period.

The controversial plan to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant involved a Government commitment to a guaranteed ‘strike price’ of £92.50 per mwh at 2012 prices over a period of 35 years. Inflation means this price is worth over £100 today.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments