What Does Offshore Wind Power Really Cost?

By Paul Homewood

 

 See the source image

 

Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, we keep being assured that offshore wind costs have tumbled to under £50/MWh.

The US Energy Information Administration however don’t agree. They regularly assess the levelised costs of all power sources, and only a year ago calculated that the cost of offshore wind was $115.04/MWh, roughly £84/MWh, at current prices.

Their figure does include transmission costs of $3.15, so excluding this we are looking at £82/MWh.

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electricity_generation

 

You cannot of course simply compare generation costs, which the EIA have done, as there are associated system costs involved, as BEIS explain:

 

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https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beis-electricity-generation-costs-2020

 

As Table 7.1 shows, these hidden costs could range between £15 and £35/MWh for offshore wind. By contrast, CCGT actually results in lower wider system costs (note the levelised cost of £82/MWh for CCGT includes a fake carbon cost of £32/MWh).

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Adding these extra system costs on to the US costings will take the true cost of offshore wind power to £100/MWh or more.

 

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February 7, 2021 at 10:24AM

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