Wind power could save each UK household nearly £250 in savings per year compared to gas, says new analysis conducted by RenewableUK.
The analysis showed that the 19GW of wind farm capacity that won Contracts for Difference (CfDs) support will generate around 93TWh by the time it is all operational in 2027. This is around 30% of the annual UK electricity generation at present. This will be at a total cost of £5 billion.
RenewableUK stated that the equivalent cost of getting that electricity from gas would be around £26 billion at current prices, so this represents a saving to consumers of over £20 billion, with every UK household benefitting by £246 a year.
The CfD scheme has been a resounding success for the wind industry. The most recent CfD auction saw offshore wind farms win contracts at a fixed electricity price four times cheaper than the current cost of gas power stations. Auction Round Four saw the five offshore wind projects win contracts to secure a strike price of £37.35/MWh.
As well as this, CfD projects are predicted to pay back £25 this winter, and around £45 a year to each household from next winter. This is set to continue to grow as more low cost windfarms come online.
“Our analysis shows that the faster we can grow wind energy in the UK, the more consumers will save. To do that, we need a stable framework for investment so that companies are confident they will make a return,” said Dan McGrail, CEO of RenewableUK.
“There is a global race for renewable investment, and I want the UK to be the most attractive place in the world to invest in wind so that billpayers and the wider economy benefit fully from cheap, renewable power.”
Given the successes of the UK’s wind generation industry, RenewableUK is now urging the government to accelerate the roll-out of new renewables to avoid future gas crises for consumers.
The new figures come against the backdrop of the Energy Prices Bill which would cap companies’ revenues, and which industry has warned is putting investment at risk. It could even distort energy markets by skewing incentives towards fossil fuels.
The proposed temporary Cost-Plus Revenue Limit, which is contained within the government’s Energy Prices Bill, could hinder the traction that the renewable energy sector has gained in recent years.
The precise mechanics of the limit are still subject to consultation – which will be launched shortly – but it will set a revenue limit that curbs the amount generators can make. This could have a detrimental effect on the renewable energy sector in the UK.