In big boost for renewables, offshore wind prices in United Kingdom tumble

EnvironmentNewsPrice paid for electricity from offshore wind farms drops 50% in 5 years Jack Peat

In the 2015 auction, offshore wind farm projects won subsidies between £114 and £120 Mwh.

Danish Dong Energy was awarded the Hornsea Project 2 with an impressive 1,386MW offshore wind installed capacity which is expected to power 1,440,300 English households. The windfarms, waste and biomass treatment projects will generate more than 3GW of electricity - enough to power 3.6 million homes, said the government.

Hornsea Project Two will be located 89 km (55 miles) from the Yorkshire coast and will become the world's biggest offshore wind farm, leapfrogging the 1,200-MW Hornsea Project One that Dong Energy is now constructing.

"This is the first time we're dismantling an offshore wind farm, but luckily, we've been able to draw on our vast experience from constructing offshore wind farms and working offshore", explained Leif Winther, Senior Lead Business Developer in DONG Energy.

Actress Emma Thompson is at a United Kingdom wind farm welcoming the news that offshore wind have hit record-low costs.

Will Rose  Greenpeace
Will Rose Greenpeace

Greenpeace said that the auction result means offshore wind is now the lowest cost option for large-scale, low-carbon power.

"Offshore wind is a key technology in reducing carbon emissions by more than seven and a half million tonnes a year - but in some ways the real story of the sector is industrial, as well as environmental". However, nuclear firms say the United Kingdom still needs a mix of low-carbon energy, especially for when wind power is not available.

"This government will continue to seize these opportunities as the world moves towards a low carbon future, and will set out ambitious proposals in the upcoming Clean Growth Plan".

Those from the nuclear industry have said the United Kingdom will still be reliant on nuclear energy despite progress in offshore windfarms. "The U.K. needs to establish new trading opportunities as we leave the European Union, and the U.K.'s offshore wind sector is a world leader in a global renewable energy market now worth $290 billion a year".

The cost of generating electricity from offshore wind farms fell sharply in the United Kingdom to below the price the next nuclear reactors will charge, making the form of clean energy one of the cheapest ways to supply the grid. "At the same time, the low strike price demonstrates the cost saving potential of developer-built offshore grid connections, which in the United Kingdom is included in the project scope".

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