Offshore wind costs fall faster than expected

Today’s (26 February) news that two offshore wind projects have been successful in the first auction for renewable power held under the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s ‘Contract for Difference’ (CfD) regime, coupled with the findings of a new industry report, show that costs in offshore wind are coming down faster than originally expected.

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Report shows offshore wind costs sharp fall

A report issued today (26 February) reveals that the cost of energy from offshore wind farms has fallen by almost 11% over the past three years, ahead of schedule on its path to delivering the UK Government’s target of £100/MWh by 2020, and providing clear evidence that offshore wind can play a significant role in the UK’s sustainable energy mix in the coming decades. The report charts progress between 2011 and 2014 on cost reduction and is measured in lifetime costs. The Cost Reduction Monitoring Framework (CRMF) was commissioned in 2014 by the Offshore Wind Programme Board at the request of industry leaders and government.

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‘Cost Reduction Monitoring Framework’

The report delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult in collaboration with The Crown Estate, providing analysis of data gathered by Deloitte and DNV GL from offshore wind farms in UK waters, is online.

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Vattenfall bows out of East Anglia 1

reNews reports that ScottishPower Renewables will buy out Vattenfall’s 50% share in the 714MW East Anglia 1 offshore wind farm, which was this morning (26 February) granted a CfD.SPR will take the project forward as a 714MW development, rather than the consented 1.2GW, after winning the auction with a price of £119/MWh. The Iberdrola subsidiary said it is working to “ensure EA1 will be the best value offshore farm ever developed in the UK”.

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Vattenfall wins Horns Rev 3 tender

Vattenfall has been selected to build the 400MW Horns Rev 3 wind farm off the west coat of Denmark, reports reNews. The Swedish utility emerged victorious from a shortlist that included hometeam hero Dong as well as Eon and Statoil. Vattenfall bid a price of 77 ore per kilowatt-hour for the rights to build the project. Horns Rev 3 is due online early 2020.

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MeyGen on pace for 2016 launch

MeyGen chief executive Dan Pearson said today the tidal energy project in Scotland’s Pentland Firth is “on track” for commercial handover in the final quarter of 2016, reports reNews. Under Phase 1A of the project being developed by Atlantis Resources, four submerged turbines totalling 6MW will be installed in the Inner Pentland Firth, just north of Caithness.

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Wind power to produce hydrogen for fuel cell

An offshore project will get under way here [Goto, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan] in March to use excess electricity generated from wind to create hydrogen that can fuel local island communities, reports Asahi Shimbun. The Environment Ministry will conduct the experiments at its wind power producing facility in waters about 1 kilometer off Kabashima island, with the goal of supplying electricity to islands surrounding the power plant.

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The Prince of Wales on climate change

The Prince of Wales has compared the planet to a “sick patient,” warning it could face its “death certificate” at the hands of climate change, reports The Guardian. Speaking to health experts at the Royal Society in London on Wednesday, Charles said: “We can only pray that our sick planetary patient might be placed on a road to recovery, in the process bringing gains for human well-being. “Failure to write the prescription, however, might leave us contemplating the death certificate instead. “So, my fervent hope is that you can find the means to make the difference that our world so desperately needs.”

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Global warming slowdown

Manmade global warming over the past decade has probably been partly offset by the cooling effect of natural variability in the Earth’s climate system, a team of climate researchers have concluded, reports The Guardian. The finding could help explain the slowdown in temperature rises this century that climate sceptics have seized on as evidence climate change has stopped, even though 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have happened since 2000. The authors of the new paper describe the slowdown, sometimes called a global warming hiatus or pause, as a “false pause”.

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Tocardo acquires Swanturbines

Tocardo Tidal Turbines is acquiring Swanturbines Intellectual Property, including the patented subsea tidal turbine technology and deployment methods, reports OffshoreWind.biz. The transaction includes intellectual property, patents and technology as well as the trade name of Swanturbines, a UK based tidal energy company.

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