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Report says onshore wind power could be as cheap as gas by 2020

CTBR Staff Writer Published 31 August 2015

A new report from Policy Exchange has revealed that the UK's onshore wind could be cost-competitive compared with gas by 2020 through the use of larger turbines in higher wind speed areas.

The report expects that the cost of onshore wind to decline to about £60/MWh by 2020 from £85/MWh.

According to the report, cost reductions could be achieved by allowing new onshore wind projects to participate in the government's Contract for Difference (CfD) auction, the subsidy scheme.

Earlier in June, UK government had announced to stop providing subsidy under Renewables Obligation (RO) for onshore wind projects starting from March 2016.

Ending of support could mark an end to onshore wind development in England. In the first CfD round, 10 of the 15 projects were approved to be set up in Scotland.

About 71% of people in Scotland support onshore wind projects, while only 61% in England support them.

The report proposed to fast-track the energy bill for minimizing uncertainty for onshore wind developers.

The UK Government has also been urged to allow new and repowered onshore wind projects to participate in renewables CfD auctions.

Policy Exchange report claims: "A moratorium on onshore wind is likely to lead to a higher cost to consumers of meeting decarbonisation objectives."

Further proposals put forward by the report include increasing community ownership and community benefits from onshore wind; capping and reducing the amount paid to new and repowered projects, such that they become subsidy free by 2020.