British subsidies for offshore wind fall well below new nuclear

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Britain’s subsidy auction for new offshore wind projects has offered guaranteed prices that are lower than those for new nuclear plants for the first time, results published on Monday showed.

Britain needs to invest in new power capacity to replace aging coal and nuclear plants due to close in the 2020s. But the government has faced public criticism for the power price it has promised investors in the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, just as wind power and other renewable prices tumble.

New offshore wind projects generating power in 2021-2022 were awarded contracts at 74.75 pounds ($98.60) per megawatt hour (MWh), while those generating in 2022-23 were awarded contracts 57.50 pounds/MWh, according to Reuters.

Both prices came in significantly lower than the 92.50 pounds/MWh, index linked to inflation, awarded to France’s EDF in 2012 to build Hinkley Point C, which will be Britain’s first new nuclear plant in over 20 years.

The eleven renewable energy projects that won contracts are expected to deliver up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generation capacity from 2021-2023.

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