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New Data Refutes Cheap Offshore Wind Claims

October 28, 2021

By Paul Homewood


More evidence that offshore wind will cost much more then claimed.


From Net Zero Watch:



London, 28 October – New data confirms that offshore windfarm costs remain at very high levels, having only fallen slightly in recent years.
Net Zero Watch has compiled the audited accounts of every commercial UK offshore windfarms, together with the associated generation data from Ofgem. This work updates a series of earlier studies of offshore wind in the UK, which reached similar conclusions.

The Prime Minister told MPs recently that the cost of offshore wind power has
dropped by 70 per cent in the last decade. He used this to justify his claim that Net Zero can be achieved at modest cost.
The new findings show that he is wrong about the cost of wind energy and that Net Zero will cost hundreds of billions of pounds extra.
Ministers’ claims have been made on the basis of the low bids made to Contracts for Difference auctions by several offshore windfarms. However, the first of these – Moray East – has now published its 2020 accounts, which suggest that its construction cost will be similar to other recent windfarms. 
Net Zero Watch’s Andrew Montford said:
"Except for the wind lobby, there is now widespread agreement that Contracts for Difference results do not reflect underlying costs. The hard data from audited accounts is now giving unequivocal backing to this reality. It is clear that offshore wind is extremely expensive, and will remain so for the foreseeable future".
The chairman of the parliamentary Net Zero Scrutiny Group, Craig Mackinlay MP, said:
"Boris Johnson assured me that the cost of offshore wind has fallen by 70%. Sober analysis shows beyond all reasonable doubt that this is not the case. Not only does this show that the PM is being given flawed information by his advisers, the public is being led into a cost and energy security disaster." 
Details of the findings can be found
at the Net Zero Watch website.


And where do these claims about cheap wind power come from? The Committee on Climate Change:



  1. October 28, 2021 2:20 pm

    This comes as no surprise to us. I am currently responding to the consultation on ‘Planning for new energy infrastructure: review of energy National Policy Statements’, where it is falsely stated that “Wind and solar are the lowest cost ways of generating electricity, helping reduce costs and providing a clean and secure source of electricity supply”. I shall be refuting this lie in my response to the consultation.

    • T Walker permalink
      October 28, 2021 3:42 pm

      All power to your elbow Phillip.

      Is the PM a liar or an idiot? Not that these are mutually exclusive.

      Does he believe it because his advisers are corrupt, or just scientifically illiterate and totally innumerate?

      Over the years much useful info has been posted on this blog and many others, way back into Bishop Hill times (when I remember many posts by you Phillip). Do we have a single document that pulls it all together? Including costs/subsidies and shows the many processes that use electricity just to get a wind turbine to work at all?

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        October 28, 2021 7:30 pm

        I’ve always put Bojo into the scientifically illiterate and totally innumerate category, He is now managed by an equally if not more scientifically illiterate and totally innumerate wife.

      • In The Real World permalink
        October 28, 2021 8:52 pm

        A few years ago the way unreliables were paid was changed , possibly to try to cover up the huge rising costs of them .
        But figures are still available showing how , Offshore Wind for instance , costs are still rising , and at the moment , is about 4 to 5 times the wholesale grid cost .

        But grid prices and cost to customers are going up which will hide , [ a little bit ] how ridiculous the costs of wind and solar are .

  2. October 28, 2021 2:30 pm

    The planet would not suffer if UK opted out of the AGW scam completely, nor would we, or those not corrupted by it.

  3. Joe Public permalink
    October 28, 2021 3:48 pm

    “The Prime Minister told MPs recently that the cost of offshore wind power has dropped by 70 per cent in the last decade.”

    Did he mean that, or that the cost of subsidising offshore wind power has dropped by 70 per cent in the last decade?

    Not quite the same thing. Electricity bills have risen, not fallen by 70% in the past decade.

    • Keith holland permalink
      October 28, 2021 5:34 pm

      You to remember that Johnson lies every time he opens his mouth.

      • Duker permalink
        October 29, 2021 4:52 am

        The Shopping Trolley description is brilliant branding. The voters dont expect him to tell the truth and a consistent direction.

        In a way voters already dont expect politicians to be honest. Live up to their expectations and they arent as let down.

      • cookers52 permalink
        October 29, 2021 8:42 am

        But only when his lips move!

  4. Andrew Wilkins permalink
    October 28, 2021 6:17 pm

    Notice the sneaky phrase “levelised cost” in the duplicitous CCC’s little table of projected cost of wind power in 2050. This does not mean the real cost. Instead it includes loads of assumptions and caveats. It’s a sneaky ploy to bring down the number.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      October 28, 2021 10:36 pm

      Quite right. The sneakiness in part revolves around ignoring that as you increase the amount of wind generation the rate of curtailment starts rising rapidly, which increases the effective cost of the useful generation. At the marginal level, it implies wind costing a multiple of the headline levellised cost. Even at the system average level it adds a significant burden, with perhaps a third of all energy being curtailed. Add in of course all the other assosicated costs, including for backup when the wind doesn’t blow, grid stabilisation, and the sheer investment in transmission capacity needed. These costs also escalate rapidly with rising wind penetration.

      We are already seeing windfarms cannabalising the wind from their downwind neighbours which will also add a layer of cost.

      • dave permalink
        October 29, 2021 11:57 am

        Quite logically, the science of Economics concentrates on added value activity. The assumption is that rational people will not do anything which is not likely to add significant value. But there IS such a thing as activity which merely causes destruction of value, especially where the State is bullying like mad.

        Very hard to bring this into peoples’ consciousness.

    • In The Real World permalink
      October 29, 2021 12:19 pm

      I think the “Levelised Cost “bit comes from the change to ” Contracts For Difference “payments .
      For many years the wholesale grid price for electricity averaged out at about £35 per MWh ,
      which meant that , EG Hornsea 1 was being paid about £130 in subsidy for each MWh.

      But as the grid price goes up ,[ carbon taxes & government policies } , about 30% this year and probably the same next year , this means that subsidies will be a lower percentage of the total cost .
      This link show what most unreliables get paid per MWh .

      So to claim that costs are coming down is just another Green lie .

  5. tom0mason permalink
    October 28, 2021 7:28 pm

    Behind the UK’s PM, Bozo Johnson’s stupid swaggering bluster is a dangerous, cunning, self-deceiving, self-aggrandising idiot. A fool who will destroy the nation!

    The Conservative Party needs to eradicate this fool, and find someone (anyone) who has intelligence, rationality, and understands what this country wants and needs — a defender of THIS nation.

    • David Parker permalink
      October 28, 2021 7:59 pm

      Anyone with a decent STEM qualification would be an immense improvement, even A level Maths would help

      • Duker permalink
        October 29, 2021 4:27 am

        Sometimes even the experts have little idea. Australia’s Chief Scientist has a PhD in electrical engineering.
        That sounds great until you found out his specialist work was in micro currents in the human body and he admitted that “Power Systems’ side of electrical engineering was something he only had beginners knowledge of – probably a basic undergrad level course.

        Has the capability to know a lot more, but not a lifelong interest to know when the wool is being pulled over his eyes.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        October 29, 2021 9:13 am

        As we know from many areas of science, that doesn’t guarantee an open and inquiring or sceptical mind. I’m reading a book about the brain at the moment. In 1965 a researcher discovered evidence that brains do create new neurons, which contradicted the widely held belief at the time. He was shunned and even publicly insulted at a major conference so gave up. In 1975 further research was done suggesting it was true. The most respected scientist in the field again shut it down. Eventually in the1990s more evidence finally convinced established neuroscience that we do grow new neurons. It took 30 years of wasted time and false knowledge in a field only scientists cared about.

      • Mikehig permalink
        October 29, 2021 10:58 am

        Some years back I used the “They work for you” website to check the science qualifications of our MPs.
        I counted all those with a science degree, including medecine etc, on the basis that they should have at least the basics to understand engineering issues. I also picked up the few who had been active on science-related committees on the basis that they probably had a grasp of the essentials.

        It was not an encouraging result: only 70 out of 670 (iirc) could be classed as “science-literate”.
        The lack of opposition to the climate change act shows that very few are prepared to back their knowledge and understanding: was it 5 dissenters?

      • October 29, 2021 11:22 am

        The politicians, with few exceptions, are nitwits as far as comonsense is concerned,, at least in climate matters.

  6. cookers52 permalink
    October 28, 2021 8:03 pm

    It’s too late the government have demolished all the power stations.

    Our elected leaders are more extreme than extinction rebellion, and are barmy.

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      October 29, 2021 12:00 am

      “Our elected leaders are more extreme than extinction rebellion, and are barmy.”

      But who elected ‘The Glorious Leaders’ ???

      • cookers52 permalink
        October 29, 2021 8:54 am

        We elected Boris with a large majority, but I did not envisage he would be so challenged by events. Unfortunately his political opponents would have been worse, Jeremy Corbyn in charge would have been worrying.

        Boris has lost his Midas touch and replaced it with a Medusa touch, every decision made goes wrong. His talent is jumping on bandwagons but now the wheels just fall off.

  7. Micky R permalink
    October 28, 2021 10:06 pm

    Are the “hotel” energy costs for offshore wind identified anywhere? i.e. the energy requirements for wind turbines when wind is low.

  8. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    October 29, 2021 6:39 am

    The ” God father of wind energy technology”.
    Named as one of the world’s severn world’s energy leaders along with Gates and Musk.

    Andrew Garrad has been filling influential and gullible people’s heads with disinformation for many decades; promoting gilded lilies known by the more comical, common name of wind turbines.
    Although he has gained significantly and even achieving his own personal goals, tax payers and electricity users may not of faired so well.

    “His mission for the company was to be able to predict everything from the weather, through the turbines and wind farms to the electricity in the grid and finally the cash flow”.

  9. Phoenix44 permalink
    October 29, 2021 9:06 am

    Government’s of all stripes only believe numbers that support what they want to do.

    Politicians don’t arrive at a policy after careful consideration or analysis. They want to do something and they want to do it in a certain way. They then seek out (or the Civil Service provides) the “evidence” needed to justify the policy.

    The idea offshore wind could become 70% or more cheaper is fantasy. The various inputs to its cost are just not susceptible to that sort of reduction. Large scale engineering very rarely sees significant reductions and the technology is not at the cutting edge anyway.

  10. 2hmp permalink
    October 29, 2021 11:14 am

    Boris is not a scientist nor a mathematician so he cannot comprehend the significance of those facts put before him. But he does what the public in sufficient numbers, want and it cannot have passed his view that the public reject net zero and all its facets. He can’t do anything till after COP26.

  11. October 29, 2021 11:24 am

    All that is really needed in those in charge of the nation is common sense, alas found invery few of them.

  12. Dr Tim Ball - Historical Climatologist permalink
    October 29, 2021 2:00 pm

    Dr Tim Ball – Historical Climatologist
    Book: ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’
    Book: ‘Human Caused Global Warming, the Biggest Deception in History’

  13. avro607 permalink
    October 29, 2021 4:17 pm

    S aw on GB News earlier the On the Money show. A guest speaker from the Independent newspaper i think stated that the revered Chatham House Report stated that Wind en. only cost £40 mw..
    Paul has disembowelled that figure before I believe,,but was the above report included by Paul,in any previous comment?

    • In The Real World permalink
      October 29, 2021 4:53 pm

      The cost of offshore wind in listed in this link.
      Most of it is £140 to £180 per MWh .
      Perhaps the Indi has got the wholesale grid figure and is just ignoring the “Contract for Difference ” subsidy amount that goes on top , which could be another £100 to £140 .

      But it might just be another load of lies from the media .

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