Consumers will pay about £1.5 billion too much for electricity from new offshore wind turbines because ministers awarded unnecessarily generous subsidies, the public spending watchdog has found.
The government awarded contracts last year committing households and business to paying up to £176 million a year on their energy bills for 15 years to subsidise three large offshore wind farms and a clutch of small biomass and energy-from-waste projects.
Yet more than half of this sum — or about £100 million a year — is likely to be the unnecessary result of a flawed tender process that gave some developers higher subsidies than they asked for, a National Audit Office (NAO) report published today shows.
The majority of the extra costs are understood to relate to one wind farm, the 860-megawatt Triton Knoll project off the coast of Lincolnshire. The Times revealed in January that its developer, the German energy giant Innogy, admitted it was awarded more generous subsidies than it had asked for.
The NAO report is the latest in a string of publications into how the government awards green energy subsidies that have found consumers have ended up with poor value for money.