Renewable Energy

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 8th November 2010.

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Photo of David Morris David Morris Conservative, Morecambe and Lunesdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the cost per unit to the public purse of producing energy through (a) the Severn Barrage and (b) onshore wind farms.

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

The Severn Tidal Power feasibility study did not compare the costs of a scheme to onshore wind but used a range of other low-carbon generating technologies as comparators (offshore wind, coal with carbon capture and storage, and nuclear). No assessment was made of the potential cost of Severn tidal power to the public purse, as the study did not propose a funding or delivery mechanism.

The feasibility study also calculated levelised generation costs for five potential Severn power schemes. These can be compared to recent estimates of levelised costs for onshore wind to give an indication of the relative cost of the technologies, as set out in the following table. All Severn scheme costs exclude the costs of Compensatory Habitat provision and any adjustment for Optimism Bias.

Technology Levelised cost of generation, 10% discount rate (£/MWh)
Cardiff Weston Barrage 199
Shoots Barrage 215
Beachley Barrage 267
Welsh Grounds Lagoon 320
Bridgwater Bay Lagoon 238
Onshore Wind (Nth of a Kind, 2017 Project Start Date) 86
Sources:

Severn scheme costs from Severn Tidal Power feasibility study Impact Assessment.

Onshore Wind costs from Mott MacDonald, "UK Electricity Generation Costs Update", June 2010, p87.

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