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UK: Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit calls for windfarms: wind energy now cheapest form of electricity

No new onshore wind projects have been given contracts in the UK since a
change of government in 2015. The few still being built were awarded
contracts beforehand.

Now, an independent think tank — the Energy and
Climate Intelligence Unit — is arguing that construction of new onshore
wind farms could save electricity consumers as much as £1.5 billion
(€1.7 billion/$2 billion) over five years. Onshore wind is now the
cheapest form of electricity generation and can deliver savings even when
taking into account the costs associated with managing variability.

The report notes that a Spanish auction in May 2017 delivered onshore wind at
€43/MWh ($51/MWh) and suggests that around 1GW in the UK could be
delivered by the 15-year contracts for difference (CfD) currently used at
£49.40/MWh ($65/MWh) or less.

This is lower than the current estimate for new gas-fired generation of £66/MWh ($87/MWh). Assuming an average load
factor of 0.31 for onshore wind in the UK, 1GW would deliver 2.7TWh of
energy.

The report estimates the costs of delivering 2.7TWh by other means,
including the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, a recently-contracted
biomass project, offshore wind, combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT) and
small modular reactors (SMR). The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit
report compares the annual generation costs from these sources.

They rangefrom £166 million in the case of onshore wind and £198 million for
offshore wind, to £271 million for Hinkley Point and £308 million in the
case of the biomass plant. The estimates for wind include an allowance for
an “integration cost” of £10/MWh ($13/MWh). This covers the costs of the
measures needed to cope with variability.
https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1451012/wind-economics-uk-consumers-miss-big-savings

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December 4, 2017 - Posted by | renewable, UK

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