Ever bigger offshore wind turbines will plunge wind power prices below wholesale power prices. Even as a contract was being announced for GE Renewables to supply 14 MW wind turbines to SSE/Equinor’s Dogger Bank C site, plans were being progressed to test even larger machines, perhaps 20MW by a German research company. Such turbines could have total blade rotor diameters of around 250 metres. Already, in 2019, UK Government contracts were awarded for offshore windfarms to pay prices over 15 years that were around the level of wholesale power prices. But the emergence of even larger machines, along with improved production techniques, offer the promise that by 2030 windfarms will be in operation which undercut the wholesale power price by large amounts. Last time the Government issued some contracts-for-difference (CfDs) for offshore wind they came in at £40 per MWh (2012 prices), and when the auction results are announced in 2021 such prices are most likely to be reduced. The only questions will be, by how much and how these prices will compete with the (also) declining costs of solar farms and onshore wind.
100% Renewables 19th Dec 2020 read more »