Crown Estate publishes guide on cutting offshore wind costs

offshore power

Over 100 companies in the power industry have demonstrated how the cost of offshore wind can be cut by over £50 per MWh by 2020 in a study published by the UK's Crown Estate.

The firms identified several pathways to reduce costs to below £100 per MWh from the current £150 to £169 per MWh - a target set by the Government's 2011 Renewables Roadmap in order to deliver 18GW in wind capacity over the next decade.

The study shows that the introduction of larger turbines with higher reliability and energy capture would contribute to lower operating costs, while greater competition in supply markets with the UK, Europe and the Far East would also drive down prices.

Opportunities such as optimising installation methods, mass-producing deeper water foundations, de-risking construction and improving windfarm designs were also highlighted as cost-saving methods.

The Crown Estate energy and infrastructure portfolio director, Rob Hastings, said: "We believe that there is no single solution to reduce the cost of offshore wind and all participants in the sector need to play their part.

"We welcome the industry-led Cost Reduction Task Force report, set up by DECC, who have applied the evidence of the study. The Crown Estate looks forward to working with the programme board, industry and Government on delivering the action plan as set out in the Task Force report."

RenewableUK CEO, Maria McCaffery, added: "These groundbreaking reports from The Crown Estate and the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force work represent a crucial step forward. Both studies show that driving down costs is much more than a mere aspiration - the industry is working closely with key stakeholders such as The Crown Estate to chart the course ahead, laying out action plans which are credible and achievable.

"This will enable the sector to grow from strength to strength - not only generating low-carbon electricity and giving us a secure supply of energy, but also creating tens of thousands of jobs and revitalising manufacturing throughout the UK."

Image: The UK plans to deliver 18GW of power capacity by 2020. Photo: courtesy of Elsam A/S.