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Costs of offshore wind power fall to "astounding" lows

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The costs for developing offshore windfarms in the UK have fallen to “astounding” lows, after a recent Government auction saw developers far keener than expected to bid for subsidies.

According to a report in BBC News, two firms have said that they would be willing to develop offshore windfarms for the “exceptionally low” cost of just £57.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) in time for 2022/23.

Experts have been keen to point out the significant cost difference between this and the new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset, which has secured subsidies of a much higher £92.50 per MWh.

Speaking shortly after the auction, Energy Minister Richard Harrington, said: “The offshore wind sector alone will invest £17.5bn in the UK up to 2021 and thousands of new jobs in British businesses will be created by the projects announced today.”

The Guardian has described the news as a “major boost for renewables in the UK,” while green campaigners have said that the record low price should make people think twice about nuclear power and the ongoing works in Somerset, with RenewableUK hailing the new offshore wind costs as “astounding.”

Meanwhile, Laurence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said: “Today’s exceptionally low results are further evidence of how the cost of clean energy is continuing to fall, and the move to a low carbon future is delivered at the lowest cost to consumers.”

Mr Slade is now calling on the Government to set out its long-term plan for cutting the UK’s carbon emissions sooner rather than later.

Matthew Wright, Managing Director of Dong Energy UK, added: “This is a breakthrough moment for offshore wind in the UK and a massive step forward for the industry.”