Onshore wind power cheaper than fossil fuels

Generating electricity from onshore wind is cheaper than using gas, coal and nuclear according to an Ecofys study approved by the European Commission.

Analysis of the report by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) suggests that onshore wind has an approximate cost of £80 per MWh which is cheaper than gas (£130), nuclear (£105) and coal (between £128-184).

Offshore wind has a cost of nearly £147 and solar PV comes in at around £171 per MWh.

EWEA deputy chief executive Justin Wilkes said: “This report highlights the true cost of Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels. Renewables are regularly denigrated for being too expensive and a drain on the taxpayer. Not only does the Commission’s report show the alarming cost of coal but it also presents onshore wind as both cheaper and more environmentally-friendly.”

Cost reduction

The report also underlines the potential that both onshore and offshore wind technologies have for cost decrease compared with coal, which is unlikely to reduce costs any further.

Wilkes added: “We are heavily subsidising the dirtiest form of electricity generation while proponents use coal’s supposed affordability as a justification for its continued use. The irony is that coal is the most expensive form of energy in the European Union. This report shows that we should use the 2030 climate and energy package as a foundation for increasing the use of wind energy in Europe to improve our competitiveness, security and environment.”

Today (14 October) Ecotricity and Skanska announced a joint venture – Skylark – to build a series of wind farms that will collectively generate 350MW.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie