Onshore wind facilities provide cheaper power than gas, coal or nuclear plants: Study

13 October 2014 (Last Updated October 13th, 2014 18:30)

Power generation through onshore wind projects is cheaper than gas, coal and nuclear plants, reveals a study conducted by energy consultancy firm Ecofys.

Wind power cheaper

Power generation through onshore wind projects is cheaper than gas, coal and nuclear plants, reveals a study conducted by energy consultancy firm Ecofys.

The European Commission had ordered and endorsed the Ecofys study.

Based on European Wind Energy Association's (EWEA) analysis of the data in the report, it has been found that onshore wind, with a cost of €105 per MWh, is much cheaper than gas, nuclear and coal.

Power generation from gas costs up to €164/MWh, while that of nuclear stands at €133/MWh and coal ranges anywhere between €162/MWh to €233/MWh.

Renewable power generation from offshore wind costs €186/MWh and solar PV stands at €217/MWh.

External factors such as air quality, climate change and human toxicity affect the power production costs, says the report, which indicated the external costs of the EU's energy mix in 2012 to be in the range of €150bn to €310bn.

EWEA deputy chief executive officer 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.

"The irony is that coal is the most expensive form of energy in the European Union."

"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."

Coal prices are considerably more than the highest retail electricity price in the EU and being a mature power generation technology, it is unlikely to reduce, the report stated.

Cost cutting is, however, possible for onshore and offshore wind technologies.

Wilkes said: "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."


Image: Power generation through onshore wind projects is cheaper than gas, coal and nuclear plants. Photo: courtesy of Gualberto107 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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