One thing we have learnt this week – renewables costs

walney 1 and 2Like buses not one but two reports on renewables costs come out in one week.  Both are very encouraging on future renewables costs and broadly say the same thing about two different technologies.  The first report to come out was on offshore wind.  At the moment other than tidal/wave this is the most expensive renewable by far.  DECC and the increasing UK supply chain have been working hard to get the costs down on this technology (the UK has more capacity than any other country).  The DECC target has been 10p/unit generation cost.  Judging by this weeks report this target will easily be exceeded.  By 2020 offshore wind will be competitive with gas.  By 2025 it should be cheaper.

The second report on renewables costs is on PV.  Essentially its saying the same thing.  By 2020 PV will be at grid parity for ground mounted PV and soon after for rooftop solar in the UK.  In fact some systems might be at grid parity now.

This has all happened at the same time that the government has cut the energy efficiency targets for new homes, the green deal, ROC support for ground mounted PV up to 5MWp and onshore wind.  This at the times when renewables costs are almost but not quite at the point where they should be -subsidy free.  Short sighted or what.


The picture shows Walney 1 & 2 in the Irish sea I took from a ferry the other week, at 370MWp capacity it was the largest offshore wind farm in the world at one point.

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