Image above credit: PETER BYRNE/PA. Daily Telegraph 6th September 2018
Claire Perry is singing the praises of the opening of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm. “With blades the size of nine London buses, covering an area equivalent to 36,000 football pitches off the Cumbrian coast, and generating enough clean electricity to power more than 600,000 homes, Walney Extension deals in big numbers and means big business and bigger opportunity for the UK.
Today renewables provide almost one third of our electricity, with wind accounting for half of that and prices falling by more than 50pc in only a few years. This is enabling us to get much more clean energy for less while ensuring consumers get a fair deal.”
Claire Perry MP is the minister of state for energy and clean growth.
The piece presents an excellent picture of the rewards for British industry and workers involved in the construction and maintenance of the wind farm but does not mention the cost to consumers of the heavily subsidised electricity produced.
So wind generates about 16% of our electricity and prices are falling?
The price of electricity at 8.30 a.m. today was £69.85/MWh. (https://www.apolloenergy.co.uk/news/current-uk-energy-prices)
The strike price for the Walney Extension is currently 166.59 pounds per Mega Watt hour. (https://lowcarboncontracts.uk/cfds/walney-phase-1). Already an increase from the original agreed strike price of £150/MWh and compares to the strike price agreed for the new Hinckley Point nuclear power station of £92.50/MWh.
As Paul Homewood points out in his blog : Walney is rated at 660MW, meaning that annual subsidies will amount to about £280 million, all paid for out of electricity bills.
Furthermore, this subsidy is index linked and guaranteed for 15 years, making a total of £4.2bn at today’s prices.
Apparently this means ensuring consumers get a fair deal.(https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/walney-wind-farm-means-higher-bills-ms-perry/)
And, of course, if the wind isn’t blowing then the wind farm doesn’t generate any electricity at all.