Offshore wind 'no longer expensive' says WindEurope

EUROPE: The rapid fall in offshore prices has left European politicians behind the curve, the head of trade body WindEurope has said.

'Offshore wind is no longer an expensive niche technology' - WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson
'Offshore wind is no longer an expensive niche technology' - WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson

The industry has witnessed a dramatic fall in offshore wind prices, from the Dutch Borssele 1 and 2 tender in July 2016 — the first time offshore wind costs fell below €100/MWh — to the German auction this month when Dong and EnBW secured zero-subsidy licences.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said politicians at the European Union headquarters in Brussels could not keep up with the fall in costs.

"Price levels are dropping quicker than anyone thought. These deals have completely changed the picture for offshore wind," said Dickson.

"Now they should also change the perception of policy makers. Offshore wind is no longer an expensive niche technology.

"But the energy policy proposals currently on the table in Brussels and the strategies being pursued at national level do not reflect this new reality.

"One problem is that the impact assessment that served as a basis for the EU's Clean Energy Package uses outdated price figures. And that is impacting the level of policy ambition for offshore wind and renewables build-out after 2020.

"In short, too many policy-makers and opinion-formers think offshore wind is much more expensive than it really is, and many think it's going to remain that way. Not enough people appreciate that it is already competitive. That needs to be corrected."

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