London, 28 March – Net Zero Watch has accused the wind industry and the government of colluding to mislead the public about the true cost of wind energy.
The Government has repeatedly assured us that energy bills would soon fall as a result of much lower prices for offshore wind power, set at recent Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions.
However, a new Freedom of Information request to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (now Department for Energy Security and Net Zero) and the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) has revealed that offshore wind farms and other generators are under no obligation whatsoever to take up their CfD options.
What is more, the Government has no power to either enforce them or impose penalties on those who don’t.
It is therefore almost certain that wind farm operators will simply not trigger their contracts. Instead, they are selling electricity on the open market at much higher prices, as two offshore wind farms are already doing. They are selling electricity at prices nearly double than they agreed in their contracts.
A series of research papers published by Net Zero Watch and others has shown that the true costs of offshore wind power are much higher than claimed, and that the low prices contracted at recent CfD auctions are simply nonviable.
Net Zero Watch is calling on the Government to impose a 100% windfall tax on all generators who refuse to honour their contracts.
Climate and energy analyst, Paul Homewood, said:
The Contracts for Difference scheme has been badly designed since the outset, and has already cost energy users £5.7 billion. For offshore wind farms, it is Heads I win, Tails you lose.”
Will offshore wind lower energy bills?