Monday, 24 January 2022


 London, 24 January - A new analysis from the Global Warming Policy Foundation reveals that the cost of onshore wind power has risen by 30% since the introduction of the Renewables Obligation, 20 years ago [1]. 

The analysis, based on audited financial accounts and official generation data, throws into question claims from the wind industry that wind is becoming ever more competitive.
The findings are also another major blow to the government’s Net Zero policy, which will fail without cheap and abundant renewable electricity. 

GWPF deputy director, Andrew Montford, said:
“Onshore wind is 60% dearer than the figure in the Government’s plans for Net Zero, making it a nonsense of claims that it is the cheapest form of electricity generation. We are locking high costs into the economy”

The steady rise in onshore costs is thought to be due to windfarms being sited at progressively worse locations. In other words, the best sites are now all taken.
Earlier analyses have found that offshore wind remains extraordinarily expensive, with at best only a small reduction in recent years [2-4].
[1] The new report is entitled “The Rising Cost of Onshore Wind” and can be downloaded here (pdf).
[2] Montford, A. Offshore Wind: Cost predictions and cost outcomes. Briefing 52, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2021.
[3] Aldersey-Williams J et al. Better estimates of LCOE from audited accounts – A new methodology with examples from United Kingdom offshore wind and CCGT. Energy Policy 128 (2019) 25–35.
[4] Hughes G. Wind Power Economics: Rhetoric and reality. Vol. I, Wind Power Costs in the United Kingdom Technical report, The Renewable Energy Foundation, 2020.


Andrew Montford



    Looking at the other forms of electricity, RE is cost competitive. As soon as carbon capture is included, RE is very competitive. There is room for costs to go up. Plus clean energy is more valuable than FF with GHG emissions. Add in different forms of clean energy storage and expensive carbon capture becomes even more undersireable.

  2. If you read the report in my post you will see that it refutes the figures in the link you provide. The report provides detailed reasoning to support its conclusions. What aspect of the calculations do you think are wrong?

  3. I'm finding completely the opposite of the article. Plus the public support for wind is quite high in Europe. Interesting.

    Wind farms take £160m off electricity bills as gas prices soar
    Press Association News
    January 20, 2022, 11:19 AM

    Wind farms across Great Britain are returning millions of pounds to customers for the first time, helping soften some of the blow from a massive spike in energy prices.

    Offshore wind farms paid back nearly £117 million for the final three months of last year, while onshore producers returned more than £40 million.

    The payments are due to a complicated subsidy scheme which forces renewable energy generators to repay some of the money they charge if prices rise above a certain point.

    In recent months, electricity prices have soared due to a spike in global gas costs – more than two-fifths of Britain’s electricity is made using gas.

    This means that energy bills are likely to spike by around 50% to around £2,000 per year for an average household.

  4. Of the alternatives to wind power, only other renewable energy and nuclear are suitable for ongoing use. Fossil fuel is responsible for pollution that it kills 8.7million people per year. This isn’t sustainable especially when there are clean alternatives, like wind power.

  5. We will never be able to rely on wind power alone, simply because it isn't reliable. We will always need a back-up, which could be nuclear, except that there is no commercial interest in building it. Fossil fuel is still the cheapest way to produce electricity, which is why the Chinese and Indians and Russians use it. Simply having inter-connectors with Europe won't help when we are all short of electricity.

    There is no evidence to prove that 8.7million people are killed by fossil fuel pollution. This is complete nonsense manufactured by some very dodgy computer programming. Unless we get real soon in this country we will find ourselves with rationed electricity and very expensive energy and transport costs. In fact everything is going to get very expensive and then we will see the backlash against the net zero policy.

  6. I've noticed you don't use sources. In science, it is required to use sources. Nuclear can be used but there is a price for it in terms of long term waste that is dangerous and expensive to store.

    Geophysical constraints on the reliability of solar and wind power worldwide.

    where as everything is cheaper and easily built with renewable energy and recyclable. Net zero is a necessity compared to business as usual with fossil fuels. 100% reliablity can be acheived wwith 1.5 times load and 12 hours storage. Use nuclear if a country choses but it is expensive and has long term expesive consequences that are not necessary.

  7. You say I don't use sources, but if you read the articles I link to you will see that there are many sources linked in them. Are you sure that "everything is cheaper and easily built with renewable energy and recyclable"? I think you will find that is not the case - there are many components which use rare earth metals which are costly to recycle. The cost of clearing up a worn out wind farm is colossal.

    Read this article:


    The tower can be used over, the hub house components can be easily replaced and recycled, and the blade materials are in the beginning of beings repurposed for other things.

    Nuclear power radiation exposed components must be isolated for centuries, oil gas and coal must be mined and drilled continuously. Wind and solar wait for power to come to them eliminating transportation like fossil fuels, delivering clean energy nearly instantly to your home.

  9. Don't forget that the wind is intermittent and so there has to be back-up and this is an extra cost. Batteries do not hold nearly enough to be of any use for more than a few hours. Turbines need rare earth metals which have to be mined. That is a dirty expensive business. As hey become rarer they will become more and more expensive. It is not sustainable.

  10. Renewable energy downside pales in comparison to fossil fuel combustion. Treating our sky like a sewer has to stop.


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