Less offshore wind = more gas, more £££
The UK’s looming offshore wind shortfall could cost billions in extra gas consumption
The UK is highly likely to miss its target to install 50GW of offshore wind by 2030. With no offshore wind projects bidding for Contracts for Difference (CfD) in last week’s big auction result, the world’s second biggest market for the technology outside China is stalling. The country will pay a hefty price for this failure in terms of additional unplanned gas burn. But how much are we talking about?
The capacity shortfall in 2030 is likely to be significant, perhaps as much as 50% judging by stuttering deployment momentum. Even in an optimistic scenario of a 10GW shortfall, the UK could end up paying £2.1 billion more every year if the gap is filled by gas-fired generation. That’s equivalent to £31.5 billion over the course of a 15-year CfD.
This is how the numbers break down. A 10GW chunk of wind operating at 40% capacity factor would generate 35,040,000 MWh per year. Let’s assume that amount of power is instead generated from a standard fleet of combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) wi…