Offshore wind cheaper than gas by end of decade

Posted by Lawrence Carter — 8 March 2013 at 3:35pm - Comments
Offshore Wind Farm Baltic One
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Langrock / Zenit / Greenpeace

Imagine a wind turbine so big that it would take Usain Bolt 19.32 seconds to run across the 200m diameter of its blades (before plunging tragically into the sea). This is what wind manufacturer Dong says will help bring the cost of offshore wind down to below that of new gas-fired power stations (the size of the blades, not Bolt’s premature demise).

Dong’s commitment to reducing costs comes at a time when MPs are calling for a “Plan B” to address the growing probability that the nuclear industry will not deliver new power stations on time or on budget. And when the government’s independent climate advisors have already said that George Osborne’s ‘dash for gas’ should be “Plan Z”.

If Dong is right and costs can be reduced to £87/MWh by 2020, a sprint for wind rather than a dash for gas becomes an even more economically attractive proposition. Projections for the Department of Energy and Climate Change predict that the price of producing electricity from new gas power stations built in 2023 will be £111/MWh (pg. 105), and could be even more if the price of gas is higher than DECC is predicting.

Opponents of clean energy continuously base their attacks on the costs, arguing that during a recession carbon-free energy is a luxury we can’t afford. In doing so they fail to acknowledge the huge subsidies that went into building infrastructure in the North Sea to extract oil and gas. As Lord Browne, former head of BP puts it : “people forget that the Government supported the oil and gas supply chain in its early days… the result today is a world leading industry.” Clean energy’s detractors also ignore the fact that the cost of new nuclear power is still going up, despite the technology being over fifty years old, and that the price of gas is forecast to rise even further.

In contrast, it’s worth looking at the steep decrease in the cost of solar power, which was once derided as expensive and pie in the sky. And the falling price of onshore wind, which Bloomberg New Energy Finance has said is now cheaper than new coal and gas power stations in Australia – without subsidy.

Businesses want to invest billions of pounds in clean energy in the UK, but need the government to provide certainty for them by including a target for almost completely eliminating carbon from our electricity system by 2030 in its new Energy Bill.

This really is a no-brainer. According to analysis by Treasury consultants Cambridge Econometrics, wind would be better for the economy than gas by around 0.8% of GDP by 2030. And if Dong can make good on its pledge, a gas power station built in the 2020s would be more expensive than offshore wind. It would also emit millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. It’s time for less gas and more wind.

How about hot air from the Government...

Offshore wind can never be cheaper than gas, unless that is you are happy for your electricity supply to go off every time the wind does not blow strong enough. The costs of the base supply stations, whether it be gas or some other fuel source, ensures that wind and solar can never compete on price.

It depends whether you would be happy for hospitals to suddenly have their power cut off in the middle of operations or baby incubators to be suddenly shut down. It's odd that there have not been too many people willing to disconnect their house supply from the grid and rely only on a windmill for power, and that's in a non emergency situation.

This is bad news.  Having cheap energy is not actually the goal.  Cheap energy underpins the unsustainable industrial civilisation that we have today.  The aim is to move back from where we are now, not to sustain it!!!

Perhaps we would be better sticking with gas if that's the highest cost option??

This is bad news.  Having cheap energy is not actually the goal.  Cheap energy underpins the unsustainable industrial civilisation that we have today.  The aim is to move back from where we are now, not to sustain it!!!

Perhaps we would be better sticking with gas if that's the highest cost option??

Great article for me. Thanks for your post.

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This is a very interesting post. The reason it might be cheaper could be due to the widers spaces from within the ocean where the wind has a lot more power, thus creating a better enviroment for producing energy.

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http://www.antitranspiratie.ro

When shale gas production gets underway - it must be accelerated - gas will be cheaper.

I am agree with Tazer.  It's odd that there have not been too many people willing to disconnect
their house supply from the grid and rely only on a windmill for power,
and that's in a non emergency situation.

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Carbon is not a problem The planet's not a problem Polar bears are not a problem

Turning Britain into a fascist state IS A  MOTHER OF A PROBLEM!.... FOR YOU!!!!

YOU, the very people that want to help the planet will end up as SLAVES

Do you want to be imprisoned??? Have everything stripped away from you

This is PROPAGANDA to enslave you NOT saving the planet for you but for a bunch of

madmen who want to control your EVERY MOVE ...even do away with you!

Why are you so DUMB????? ITS A COMMUNIST TRICK to tax you into poverty
and control you Maurice Strong the founder of the GREEN movement is a multi billionaire oil tycoon IN CHINA! where he can and does belch out CO2's til his littel fascists hearts content
Al Gore built a 4 million dollar home ON THE  BEACH! Do you think he would do that if the sea level was gonna rise???
hes laughing all the way to the bank in his new 9million dollar mansion near the sea
All the death and distruction of poor landowners thrown off their land in the false exscuse of carbon capture
The UN were talking of freezing the planet to lower Co2 by half That is DEATH OF PLANET
Look at this....
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/27/enivronmentalists-worst-nghtmare-gmod-frankenbugs-could-make-fuel-from-directly-co2/
If you support windturbines and im sure your dumb enough to do, then you have to have FOSSIL FUELS to run them as they need 80%
back up Get it? Of course you do
CO2 IS water Vapour IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE
What will it take for you brainwashed children to get off this
global warming madness? or do you see it as a gravy train too?
If all the trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions were
spent on love and kindness, food and education what a wonderful planet
it would be If you want to be proud of your planet then put out a vote
to stop the elitists plans, the false flags and evil death and
distruction of untrue wars for untrue causes

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