Renewable UK asks Lords Committee to give wind “a chance”

Renewable UK told the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee that wind plants want a route to market – not subsidy.

Chief executive of Renewable UK Hugh McNeal gave evidence to the committee in a session focussed on the economics of UK energy policy this week.

McNeal said: “We are competitive – nothing else can be built at scale that would generate electricity more cheaply. My members who develop and build large onshore wind plants do not want subsidy – we just want a chance to compete and demonstrate how cheap we can be – a route to market.

Predicting the outcome of a competitive process is a risky business, but if you were to run a Contracts for Difference auction process, I think you would be looking at a clearing price for onshore wind in the £50s and a levelised cost of energy possibly in the £40s.”

McNeal also highlighted the offshore wind industry’s focus on cost reduction, adding that it is “making good progress”.

“I would not be surprised if we saw the next offshore wind auction clear at or below the Hinkley level, and offshore wind projects being cost competitive with gas by the middle of the next decade,” he added.

Earlier this year Renewable UK urged the industry to back onshore wind at a time of economic uncertainty following Britain leaving the European Union.