London, 10 November – Net Zero Watch is calling for an investigation after it was reported that ministers are considering doubling the guaranteed prices on offer for offshore windfarms next year to between £70 and £75/MWh.
The news comes after this year’s auction failed to attract any bids from offshore wind developers.
Net Zero Watch director Andrew Montford said:
“Just a few months ago, Whitehall was telling us that the cost of offshore wind was just £44/MWh. If this story is true, they will be effectively admitting that they have been lying. We must get to the bottom of why civil servants have consistently been underplaying offshore wind costs, despite repeatedly being warned that the underlying financial accounts of windfarms told a different story.”
Dr John Constable, Net Zero Watch director of energy, said:
“Consumers will continue to be forced to foot the bill for offshore wind farms that are expensive, unproductive, and destroy the economics of the grid.”
Note for editors
In 2022, the offshore wind auction cleared at £35/MWh. However, these contracts were effectively options, allowing the holders to refuse to activate their contracts, and earn high windfall profits during the energy crisis.
In 2023, this loophole was closed, forcing developers to bid prices that reflected their underlying costs. As a result, no bids where received despite the price cap being raised to £44/MWh.
Since 2017, Whitehall has claimed that offshore wind costs have fallen dramatically. Windfarm accounts show that this is not true.
These figures are in 2012 prices, so are considerably higher in today’s money.