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Less offshore wind = more gas, more £££

image credit: Energy Flux
Seb Kennedy's picture
Founding Editor, Energy Flux newsletter

I am professional energy journalist, writer and editor who has been chronicling the renewables and fossil fuel energy sectors since 2008.  I am passionate about the energy transition, so much so...

  • Member since 2020
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  • Sep 13, 2023

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) with a typical heat rate of 7,000 Btu per kWh. That gives us a gas fuel volume of 245,280,000 MMBtu – equivalent to roughly 6.8 billion cubic metres (Bcm) of gas, or ~9% of the UK’s total gas consumption in 2022.

Read entire article at Energy flux


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