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Onshore wind leads the field as lowest cost energy technology and is best bet to cut carbon at lowes

28 August 2015  
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RenewableUK has welcomed a report by leading think tank Policy Exchange, which demonstrates that onshore wind is on course to be cheaper than new gas generation, so needs to be central to the UK’s efforts to decarbonise our electricity supply at lowest cost to the consumer.

Policy Exchange’s report Powering Up: The future of onshore wind in the UK estimates that the cost of onshore wind should fall to £60/MWh by 2020 as a result of using technology advances and a focus on sites in high wind speed areas of the country - predominantly Scotland. This continuing cost reduction make onshore wind cost competitive with new gas plant and significantly cheaper than other options, including nuclear.

The report recommends ways for onshore wind to continue on a subsidy free basis as part of the UK’s Contract for Difference scheme.

Commenting on the findings, Maf Smith, RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive said:

The case is clear. Onshore wind is the lowest cost option for Government if we are to decarbonise and replace old capacity set to close over the next few years. Onshore wind is supported by a clear majority of the British public and is a great British success story, delivering high UK content and investment into the UK economy. The further north we go in our economic powerhouse, the greater the economic importance of onshore wind.

Industry shares Government’s ambition to end subsidy and this report confirms that onshore wind has now arrived at the point where it can compete head to head with high carbon alternatives like gas. The challenge is how Government supports onshore wind moving into a competitive market place.

For further information, please contact Maf Smith, Deputy Chief Executive, 020 7901 3025 or 07815 541 505


  1. RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with 500 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK.
  2. The Policy Exchange report Powering Up can be found at:
  3. Onshore wind met 5.5% of UK power needs, and renewable sources overall provided 19.1% of UK power needs in 2014. According to the UK Government, this makes onshore wind “the leading individual technology for the generation of electricity from renewable sources during 2014. DECC’s Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2015 (covering calendar year 2014) can be found here:
  4. UK Government figures released this week showed that wind’s contribution to our electricity needs increased by 61% in the last 12 months due to increased wind speeds

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