Britain’s offshore windpower costs twice as much as coal and gas generated electricity

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Britain’s so-called “dash for wind” means that it is now the biggest off
shore generator – producing as much as the rest of the world put together. But costs of building the farms have doubled due to spiralling prices for
steel and the drop in the value of the pound. The running costs are also increasing. The report found that costs have risen for all kinds of generation but off
shore wind farms remain by far the most expensive – 90 per cent more than
fossil fuel generators and 50 per cent more than nuclear. The news is bound to lead to question over the government’s policy of using
wind power to meet its target to generate around a third of its electricity
from renewables by 2020. But the authors of the report at the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), a
government think tank, said they remained “cautiously optimistic” that wind
can play a significant contribution to the zero carbon energy production for
Britain. “We think that there are grounds for cautious optimism,” said Dr Robert
Gross, of Imperial College London, who headed the report. “Yes it is more expensive than gas and coal and is unlikely to reach parity
for at least 20 years but we still think it is a worthwhile energy producer.

“All alternatives such as nuclear and carbon capture are bound to have
teething problems too.” With the opening of Thanet wind farm in the North Sea last week Britain
became the biggest offshore wind generator in the world. The world’s biggest ocean wind farm off Foreness Point, Kent, it has 100
turbines, each measuring more than 300ft, and will power more than 200,000
homes. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8028328/Britains-offshore-
windpower-costs-twice-as-much-as-coal-and-gas-generated-electricity.html

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