11 September 2017 2017 10:24 AM GMT

Offshore Wind Prices Drop By 50% In 5 Years. Now Cheaper Than Nuclear And Gas

RenewableUK is highlighting the dramatic fall in the cost of offshore wind in the results announced today of competitive auctions for new contracts to provide clean electricity. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced that 3 offshore wind projects were successful, as they put in the lowest bids for Contracts for Difference (CfDs). The winning projects are DONG Energy’s Hornsea 2 off the coast of Yorkshire, Innogy and Statkraft’s Triton Knoll off the coast of Lincolnshire, and EDPR’s Moray off the northeast coast of Scotland. The new wind farms, with a total capacity of 3,196 megawatts, will power the equivalent of more than 3.3 million homes.

The cost of offshore wind has plummeted since the last competitive auction results were announced in February 2015, with the new prices on average 47% lower than they were just over two and half years ago. The offshore wind prices announced today are cheaper than the cost of the 35-year contracts for new nuclear power of £92.50 per megawatt hour, and cheaper than the levelised cost of gas, according to figures from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Hornsea 2 and Moray will begin generating in 2022/23 at £57.50 per megawatt hour, and Triton Knoll in 2021/22 at £74.75/MWh, with prices guaranteed for 15 years of an expected project life of 25 years.

Welcoming this morning’s results, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said: “We knew today’s results would be impressive, but these are astounding. 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 4 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.

“Today’s results mean that both onshore and offshore wind are cheaper than gas and nuclear. But this young, ambitious industry can go even further. The Government can help us by continuing to hold fiercely competitive auctions for future projects, as it has promised, and by putting offshore wind at the heart of its upcoming Industrial Strategy.

“Congratulations to the successful bidders: DONG Energy for Hornsea 2, Innogy and Statkraft for Triton Knoll and EDPR for Moray. These projects are the powerhouses of the future.

“It’s great to see these excellent results for offshore wind. It’s important that innovative renewable technologies, including wave energy and tidal energy projects also have a route to market, so different mechanisms are needed to ensure these cutting-edge technologies can develop. Tidal energy projects are already showing cost reductions and with the right encouragement can undergo the same sort of journey as offshore wind. Onshore wind is the cheapest from of new power, so it deserves an opportunity to compete too”.

RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the wind, wave and tidal energy industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 400 corporate members, RenewableUK is the country’s leading renewable energy trade association.

The 3 winning offshore wind projects are: Triton Knoll (Innogy/Statkraft) 900MW, off the coast of Lincolnshire; Moray (EDPR) 1,116MW off the northeast coast of Scotland and Hornsea 2 (DONG Energy) 1,800MW, off the Yorkshire coast. For gas prices, see the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy document “Electricity Generation Costs” (Nov 2016)

September 4th 2018
EU Supports Denmark’s Drive Towards 50% Energy Sourcing From Renewables By 2030

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules, three schemes to support electricity production from wind and solar in Denmark in 2018 and 2019. The Renewable Energy Directive established targets for all Member States’ shares of renewable energy sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020. For Denmark, that target is 30% by 2020. Furthermore, Denmark has a goal of supplying 50% of its energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2030 and to become independent from fossil fuels by 2050. All three schemes aim to contribute to reaching those targets.

September 17th 2018
MHI Vestas Signs Firm Order for Largest MW Project in Company History

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind will supply 90 of its flagship V164-9.5 MW turbines for the 860 MW Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm project; its largest MW project to date. MHI Vestas celebrated the financial close of the deal with innogy, at the site, confirming the project as the largest (MW) in the history of the turbine company. Affirming its strengthening position in the UK offshore wind market, the Danish-Japanese joint venture will supply 90 of the world’s most powerful commercially available turbine, the V164-9.5 MW, and has agreed on a comprehensive 5-year O&M agreement.

September 16th 2018
Ingeteam Develops New Optimal Offshore Power Conversion Architecture

Ingeteam, an independent global supplier of electrical conversion and turbine control equipment, has announced that a recent in-house R&D study allowed them to work out the optimal electrical power conversion designs for offshore wind turbines up to 15 MW. The research, taking into account the complex set of parameters at play in LCoE, enabled it to develop a Medium Voltage Power Converter reaching up to the 15 MW power range. Ingeteam claims that its new design is the ideal solution for scaling up offshore turbine platforms and will present its converter and the associated research at the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg next month.

September 10th 2018
Ørsted Announces Plans For Offshore Wind Farm To Power 1 Million UK Homes

Ørsted, the largest energy company in Denmark has recently unveiled its plans for a sustainable energy solution to power more than 1 million homes in the UK when completed. The company is one of many leading organisations speaking and presenting at the 17th annual Benelux Infrastructure Forum on 21–22 November in Amsterdam. This year’s 2-day conference is the biggest yet, hosting an international gathering of industry leaders from law firms, banks, investment asset and fund managers, energy companies, insurance companies, European Commission, and engineering consultancies.

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