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Subsidy ban for onshore wind could cost UK £1bn

CTBR Staff Writer Published 26 October 2017

A subsidy ban on onshore wind energy could cost the UK £1bn over the next five years relative to other technologies, according to a report published by London-based Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

The report titled, ‘Blown Away’ states that even though wind power  is one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation, there could only be few plans to build onshore wind projects in the UK, if there is no support from the government.

ECIU director Richard Black said: “The effective ban on the cheapest form of new power generation looks increasingly perverse.

"For a Government committed to making energy cheaper, this risks not only locking people into higher bills, but also runs contrary to its aim of having the lowest energy costs in Europe.

“These blustery isles have no shortage of wind and while other European nations are going large on onshore wind the UK is starting to fall behind by not making the most of our natural resource.” 

Tapping the potential of onshore wind energy is being hailed as vital for the UK in order to achieve not only the climate goals but also further development of a cheap source of electricity generation.

Comparing onshore wind energy with other forms of energy, the report claims that annually, wind power costs £100m less than nuclear power and £30m less than biopower.

 As per the report, onshore wind now has a cost less than £50/MWh, which is cheaper than the new forecast of gas-fired energy which costs at least £66/MWh.  

The report notes that Britain is set to drop to bottom position among comparable EU nations in terms of wind farm efficiency in the absence of investment in new technology. 

It added that the UK may lose its position as one of the global centres for onshore wind energy without a domestic market.

Image: Report from ECIU says onshore wind cheaper than nuclear and biopower. Photo: Courtesy of Drew Broadley/FreeImages.com.