UK wind power comes at a price

Wednesday 29th Sep 2010 by theWeather Club

"There's many a slip 'tween cups and lip" the old saying goes. It is a saying that is now being applied to the most modern of technologies. The slip is being felt by the UK government as the real price of building and running the country's wind farms is becoming clearer. Britain is now by far the world's biggest producer of off-shore wind power with almost 1000 wind turbines already in operation, but becoming so has been more expensive than originally planned.

A report by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), found that costs have risen for all kinds of power generation but the costs for off shore wind farms are still by far the highest. The figures show wind power to be 90% more than fossil fuel generators and 50% more than nuclear power. The costs of building the farms have doubled due to spiralling prices for steel and the drop in the value of the pound. Add the fact that general running costs are also increasing, and it becomes an expensive affair.

"Yes it is more expensive than gas and coal and is unlikely to reach parity for at least 20 years but we still think it is a worthwhile energy producer." Said Dr Robert Gross, of Imperial College London, who headed the report. However the report also stated that while costs will remain high for some time, it remains confident that the technology has a lot to offer in terms of energy generation in the future.