UK Wind Power Suffers Blow

RAE study assumes the need for about 65 percent backup from conventional sources.

Published: 11-Mar-2004

The renewable energy industry suffered a setback today with the publication of a report showing that electricity from offshore wind farms will cost at least twice as much as that obtained from conventional sources

According to research carried out by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), the cheapest electricity, costing just 2.3 pence per unit, will be generated from gas turbines and nuclear power stations, compared with 3.7p for onshore wind and 5.5p for offshore. The Academy also emphasised the need to provide backup for wind energy to cover periods when the wind doesn't blow. The study assumed the need for about 65% backup from conventional sources, adding 1.7p to the cost of wind power, bringing its price up to two and a half times that of gas or nuclear power.

Coal generation, however, faces an uncertain future, looking increasingly uneconomic as the financial impact of the need to curb carbon dioxide emissions kicks in.



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