The UK Government has the potential to deliver over 1GW of new onshore wind capacity without imposing additional costs on customers, according to a study.

A report published by Baringa Partners for Scottish Renewables showed that the new wind capacity will be sufficient to meet annual electricity needs of 600,000 homes.

The report titled, ‘An analysis of the potential outcome of a further ‘Pot 1’ CfD auction in GB’ states that the supply of new wind power will depend on the ability of mature renewables to bid in auctions for long-term contracts for clean electricity.

The report has been prepared taking into account latest evidences on costs involved in onshore wind projects and other established renewable technologies such as large-scale solar power.

According to the report, an auction could further reduce the costs of onshore wind power. 

 The UK government auction is expected to close at £49.40 per MWh and this could mean that onshore wind projects might receive limited ‘top-up’ payments during initial years of operation, but would pay back a greater amount during the remainder of the contract period as the wholesale power price increases.

According to the report, the auction would lead to about £1bn in private sector investment in clean energy projects, with most of them expected to be located in Scotland. 

Scottish Renewables CEO Niall Stuart said: “The study’s findings reinforce that onshore wind can make a significant contribution to ministers’ ambitions for the Industrial Strategy. At these kinds of prices, the technology can continue to play a key role in cutting carbon emissions whilst keeping bills down for businesses and households – an important priority for Government. 

“It can also secure inward investment and jobs across the country and drive the renewal of our ageing energy infrastructure. However, the report also shows that we will only deliver those benefits at scale if onshore wind and other mature renewables are able to bid again for long-term contracts for clean electricity generation.”

Image: UK could over 1GW of onshore wind capacity. Photo: Courtesy of Luke Partridge/FreeImages.