Subsidies for offshore wind fell to a record low in the latest round of contracts, awarded by the Government this week. As technology improves, and windfarms and turbines get bigger and more efficient, the electricity they generate becomes cheaper. The strike price for electricity from two schemes due to come on stream in 2022-23 is set to fall to £57.50/MWh, down from £120 only two years ago. That compares with £92.50/MWh for electricity from the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, described them as the “nail in the coffin” for nuclear new build. She said: “While clean, green, wind power has the potential to seriously cut people’s bills, the Government’s undying commitment to new nuclear risks locking us into sky-high prices for years to come. “The Government should now commit to this technology – and scale up investment in offshore wind so it becomes the backbone of British energy.” Cumbria has a foot in both camps. Moorside has stalled because of a financial crisis affecting its sole backer, Toshiba. The project’s future is uncertain. NuGen has yet to agree a strike price with the Government for the electricity generated, although chief executive Tom Samson has said he expects it to be below the £92.50/MWh figure agreed for Hinkley Point. It is unlikely to undercut the latest offshore wind contracts, however.
Cumbria Chamber of Commerce 13th Sept 2017 read more »