Tuesday, 19 October 2010

High cost of UK offshore wind dissected

The cost of offshore wind "deployment" in the UK may have been reached its
peak, concludes a detailed investigation of the reasons behind dramatically
rising costs that affected the offshore wind sector during the 2005-2009
period. Achieving significant cost reductions will require concerted and
thoughtful action by policymakers, argues a report by the technology and
policy assessment division of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).

Presented as a "thorough review of the current state of knowledge" on the
cost of developing offshore wind farms in the UK, the report disaggregates
key cost components, suggesting that while "meaningful" cuts are unlikely
during the period to 2015, there are grounds for "cautious optimism" that
costs will have fallen significantly by the mid-2020s, perhaps by 20%. The
report also stresses that rising costs should not be viewed as a complete
surprise, since many "emerging technologies" experience a period when costs
rise quickly.


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