Wind Power

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 9th March 2010.

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Photo of Lembit Öpik Lembit Öpik Liberal Democrat, Montgomeryshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department has undertaken research into the cost of (a) installing and (b) maintaining (i) off-shore and (ii) on-shore wind turbines in relation to (A) their capacity factor and (B) the price of electricity produced in each of these ways; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Kidney David Kidney Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The analysis underpinning Renewable Energy Strategy, published in July 2009, used assumptions on the generating costs of different electricity generating technologies to 2020, full details of which are set out in Element (2009) and Redpoint/Trilemma (2009), which are available on the DECC website. The first table as follows summarises these generation cost assumptions with respect to wind generation in 2009, according to load factor assumptions.

In their work for the Renewable Energy Strategy (2009), Redpoint also calculated levelised costs for onshore and offshore wind for the 2009 base capital expenditure levels as follows and other assumptions in the above table. These are set out in the second table.

Technology (source) Load factor (percentage) Capital expenditure base (range) in £/kW Operating expenditure in £/kW/year Technology life (years)
Offshore wind (Redpoint/Trilemma, 2009) 41 2,372 (1)68 (1)20
35 (2,159-3,036)
Onshore wind large-scale (Redpoint/Trilemma, 2009) 29 1,208 (1)40 (1)20
27 (1,172-1,329)
Wind 15 kW to 5,000 kW in size (Element, 2009) 2-32 1,500-3,000 44-74 10-20
(1) Indicates a brace.
Technology (source) Load factor (percentage) Levelised costs in £/MWh
Onshore wind large-scale (Redpoint/Trilemma, 2009) 29 74
27 80
21 103
Offshore wind (Redpoint/Trilemma, 2009) 41 112
35 131

Research by Ernst & Young (2009) for DECC found a levelised cost for offshore wind of £144/MWh-available at:

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