Let’s hear it for wind power

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Just as Extinction Rebellion were marching through Central London, decrying the lack of action to combat climate change, something quietly momentous was happening in the wonderful world of electricity. 

In the latest round of auctions for UK wind power contracts, the operators of planned windfarms on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea agreed to build five gigawatts of capacity costing just £39.65 per megawatt hour.

Why is that so exciting? Because it represents a 30% fall in wind power prices in just two years. And a mere quarter of the price demanded by wind companies earlier in the decade. Crucially, it is also lower than the current wholesale price of electricity (around £44 per MWh) – which means that such turbines should no longer require any subsidy at all.

Scale, engineering progress, human ingenuity and investor confidence have between them driven costs down; Britain is emerging as the world leader in installing this vital renewable electricity source. And, the market share for electricity produced by offshore wind is set shortly to become 25%. Definitely something to shout about.