Wind Power Now the Cheapest Source of Electricity in UK
Around 10% of the country’s energy is currently generated by wind power, with 60% of that coming from onshore wind farms. Costs per megawatt hour (mWh) have fallen from £70.20 a year ago to £55.38, reflecting advances in technology which have enabled suppliers to build more efficient turbines. The reduction is in contrast to the sharp increase in the cost of coal-fired power stations, which have seen their costs rise from £63.85 mWh to £74.27 mWh after EU rules increased tax on carbon emissions.
Offshore wind still has some way to go to rival onshore methods, costing approximately £114 mWh. The calculations were based on a ‘levellised cost of energy’ which includes financing, the intermittent nature of the energy provided and other issues to allow a fair comparison across technologies.
“Wind is now the cheapest technology in the UK and this means that old rules of thumb, such as ‘renewables are expensive’ or ‘unreliable’, need to be updated,” Seb Henbest, head of Europe for BNEF, told the Guardian. “Some people still think that wind or other renewables are a luxury that we cannot afford in difficult economic times, but costs have been falling fast and they are now competitive (to a greater or lesser extent) worldwide.”