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RUK: ‘Wind power could save UK households nearly £250 a year’

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Wind farms awarded contracts over the last 7 years by the UK Government to generate clean power will save each household nearly £250 per year, compared to the cost of generating electricity from gas at this winter’s prices, according to an analysis by RenewableUK. 

The analysis showed that the 19 gigawatts (GW) of wind farm capacity which have won Contracts for Difference (CfDs) so far will generate 93 terawatt hours (TWh) by the time power stations come online in 2027. 

This represents 30% of annual UK electricity generation at present and is enough to power nearly 25 million homes a year. 

RenewableUK said that costs have fallen sharply over the past seven years, with the latest round of offshore wind projects coming in 70% cheaper than those awarded contracts in 2015 –  making offshore wind the cheapest source of new power in the UK. Wind farms supported by CfDs will generate 93TWh at a total cost of £5bn. 

The equivalent cost of getting that electricity from gas would be around £26bn at current prices, according to RenewableUK – something they claim represents a saving to consumers of over £20bn, with every UK household benefitting by £246 a year. 

The renewable energy trade association is now urging the Government to accelerate the roll-out of new renewables to avoid future gas crises for consumers. 

“Our analysis shows that the faster we can grow wind energy in the UK, the more consumers will save,” RenewableUK CEO Dan McGrail said. 

“To do that, we need a stable framework for investment so that companies are confident they will make a return. There is a global race for renewable investment and I want the UK to be the most attractive place in the world to invest in wind so that bill payers and the wider economy benefit fully from cheap, renewable power. 

He added that cross-party support has been “central to the success of renewables over the past decade”, and that “MPs can be confident that consumers are benefiting from CfDs for wind farms which have paid back over £500m in the last twelve months alone”. 

“Wind energy can cut bills for consumers quicker than other large-scale technologies and I look forward to working with Rishi Sunak so that industry can speed up the roll-out of cheaper, home-grown energy,” McGrail said. 

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BDC 299 December 2022