Three offshore wind farms awarded contracts by government

Dong Energy secured a £57.50/MWh contract for second phase of its Hornsea project

Dong Energy secured a £57.50/MWh contract for second phase of its Hornsea project Credit PA

Hornsea Project Two will be located 89 km (55 miles) from the Yorkshire coast and will become the world's biggest offshore wind farm, leapfrogging the 1,200-MW Hornsea Project One that Dong Energy is now constructing.

The gains have reportedly been made due to bigger turbines and higher voltage cables being made available in the previous year. It is expected to be operational from 2022.

The cost fell to £74.75 per megawatt hour (MWh) for projects delivered in 2021/22 and £57.50 for projects in 2022/23.

The Government said the new UK-wide projects - the biggest of which Dong Energy's Hornsea Project Two off the Yorkshire coast - would create thousands of jobs and provide enough power for 3.6 million homes.

Earlier this year, Dong won two German offshore wind power tenders with the promise of a zero subsidy bid.

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The cost of offshore wind has plummeted since the last competitive auction results were announced in February 2015, with the new prices on average 47% lower than they were just over two and half years ago.

"The spectacular fall in the costs of offshore wind, and the billions of pounds the industry has poured into our seaside towns, are signs that investing in renewable energy will benefit our consumers and our economy".

The cost of energy generated in the United Kingdom by offshore wind is cheaper than nuclear power for the first time, according to figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The renewables industry body said the results mean offshore wind is cheaper than new nuclear power and the levelised cost of the natural gas, based on BEIS figures.

The cost per MWh is now lower than prices for nuclear energy.

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It points out atomic power is more reliable, despite higher costs.

"At the same time, the low strike price demonstrates the cost saving potential of developer-built offshore grid connections, which in the United Kingdom is included in the project scope". She holds a giant price tag showing that the price paid for electricity from offshore wind farms has likely dropped by more than 50% in under five years.

As part of extensive reforms to Britain's electricity market, the government replaced direct subsidies with a contracts-for-difference (CfD) system.

Renewable Energy Association head of policy and external affairs James Court said: "These results show that renewables are now the most cost effective form of any energy generation which can future proof both the United Kingdom grid and provide sustainable new jobs in the UK".

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