Offshore wind power price halves as UK government awards contracts to renewable energy firms

Alys Key
Follow Alys
Burbo Bank Wind Farm Now Fully Operational
Eleven new contracts have been awarded to new energy firms (Source: Getty)

The price of new offshore wind power has halved in just a few years, making it cheaper than new nuclear power, the latest government auction for renewable technology contracts shows.

New wind projects which will generate electricity from 2022-23 at a price as low as £57.50 per megawatt hour of electricity, 50 per cent down on prices in the first auction held in 2015.

Eleven new energy projects worth up to £176m per year were selected for government backing in the latest auction, generating enough energy to power 3.6m homes.

Read more: MPs to review baby nuclear reactor plans

"The offshore wind sector alone will invest £17.5bn in the UK up to 2021 and thousands of new jobs in British businesses will be created by the projects announced today," said energy and industry minister Richard Harrington.

Alongside wind power, contracts were awarded for advanced conversion technologies and dedicated biomass with combined heat and power. The cost of these new energy projects has also gone down compared to previous years.

Read more: The UK could power 20m homes with offshore wind by 2030

The government said this morning that the round of investments would help the UK meet its climate targets while supporting jobs in Britain’s growing renewable industry. The boost to Britain's low-carbon supply chain also serves as part of the government’s industrial strategy and an upcoming clean growth plan.

The UK has the largest offshore wind capacity in the world and low carbon businesses have a combined turnover of £43bn, employing 234,000 people according to government figures.

Read more: In pictures: How you balance an offshore wind turbine on a giant inflatable

Related articles