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Offshore wind energy now cheaper than nuclear or gas as prices tumble

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The average cost of offshore wind energy has fallen 47% since February 2015, according to the results of an auction of 3,196 megawatts of power generated by three new windfarms.

The three projects, located off the coasts of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and north-east Scotland, can power the equivalent of 3.3m homes and the results of the auction for contracts for difference were announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

According to trade body RenewableUK, the price comes in lower than nuclear power and gas. The windfarms are scheduled to come onstream between 2021 and 2023.

“We knew today’s results would be impressive, but these are astounding,” said RenewableUK’s CEO Hugh McNeal. “Record-breaking cost reductions like the ones achieved by offshore wind are unprecedented for large energy infrastructure. Offshore wind developers have focused relentlessly on innovation, and the sector is investing £17.5bn into the UK over the next four years whilst saving our consumers money.

“Today’s results are further proof that innovation in the offshore wind industry will bring economic growth for the UK on an industrial scale. The UK needs to establish new trading opportunities as we leave the European Union, and the UK’s offshore wind sector is a world leader in a global renewable energy market currently worth $290 billion a year.”

 

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