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New data refute Boris Johnson’s wind cost claims

Net Zero Watch

Windfarm cost blunder will add hundred of billions to cost of Net Zero
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:

“Windfarm promoters excepted, 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 idea. 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 here.