Wind and Nuclear Power

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 4th November 2010.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average cost is of a unit of energy generated through (a) wind power and (b) nuclear power.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The table, which will be placed in the Library, is taken from Mott Macdonald (2010) and gives levelised cost estimates (average generation cost per megawatt-hour) for new build plants in the main large-scale electricity generation technologies in the UK, including onshore wind, offshore wind and nuclear, at current engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract prices, and is available at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Statistics/Projections/71-uk-electricity-generation-costs-update-.pdf

It should be noted that for the purposes of presentation, the table only gives either "FOAK" (first-of-a-kind) prices or "NOAK" (nth-of-a-kind) prices for each technology.

As new technologies are deployed it is likely that costs will fall due to learning. The second table, also being placed in the Library, sets out the estimated levelised costs for projects started in 2017 with the assumption that all technologies have reached "nth of a kind" status. It shows the expectation that new nuclear will cost approximately £68/MWh. Offshore wind and onshore wind are estimated to cost approximately £112/MWh and £86/MWh respectively.

It should be noted that the estimates of levelised costs for different types of electricity generation are highly sensitive to the assumptions used for capital costs, fuel and EU ETS allowance prices, operating costs, load factor, and other drivers, meaning that there is significant uncertainty around these estimates.

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