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Onshore wind could deliver cheapest electricity by 2020



With the right policies onshore wind could deliver the cheapest electricity of all power by the end of the decades, driving down fuel bills across the UK, according to a new report.

The industry-led report has been published by the Onshore Wind Cost Reduction Taskforce, which was set up by trade body RenewableUK. It argues that if changes were made in four areas the onshore wind sector could be cheaper than gas, its nearest competitor. However, the industry needs further innovation, improvement to the grid connection system, ensuring the UK consenting systems if functioning as it should and sharing best practice is needed.

The research predicts that if these changes were implemented, onshore wind would be these cheapest technology in 2020 with a predicted levelised cost of energy at £65-74 per megawatt hour. This means that if 1,000 megawatt capacity was built by the end of the decade consumers would dace also £700 million over the next 15 years.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK, said,  “This work definitively shows that value of continuing the role of onshore wind in the UK. It’s already the most cost effective to generate low carbon power, and this report shows that within the next five years onshore wind can be the most effective of all forms of power generation, driving down all our fuel bills. We have already seen evidence of the falling cost onshore wind in the most recent auctions for low carbon power.”

She added, “However, further cost reductions won’t happen if this technology is cut off at the knees by a premature withdrawal of support. We urge politicians to work with us and support onshore wind, to help the UK cut fuel import rather than imposing arbitrary caps on this technology.”

The report concludes that planning and regulation will play a “critical role” in defining what turbines are used and how sites are developed. It adds that it’s important that all those operating within the industry understands how these policies can drive or hinder cost reduction.

Photo: Colin Brough via Freeimages

Further reading:

Renewable investment up 16% in 2014

Report: renewables to grow faster than fossil fuels in 2015

Global renewable energy investment on the rise

Plummeting renewable costs present ‘historic opportunity’ to build clean energy systems

Scotland’s electricity system could be almost 100% renewable by 2030


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