‘Eye-watering’ price of UK energy makes case for wind

A sharp rise in the energy price cap for households in the UK shows the urgent need for a swifter transition to wind power and other renewables, industry experts said today.

The steep rise in energy costs makes the case for renewables stronger (pic credit: Anton Petrus/Getty Images)

UK energy regulator Ofgem announced today that the average annual household energy bill would rise by 80% to €4,187 (£3,549) for the three months, starting in October.

‘Wind is cheapest’

RenewableUK’s chief executive, Dan McGrail said the “unaffordable increase” in household bills showed the need to switch to low-cost alternatives as quickly as possible.

He added: “The latest round of renewable energy projects show that wind is the cheapest source of new power for the UK, generating home-grown electricity which is many times cheaper than the eye-watering cost of fossil fuels on the international market. So we need to get on with building bigger British clean energy projects faster to help ease the pain for consumers.”

‘Remove barriers to wind’

The price of electricity in the UK will rise from £0.28 per KWh to £0.52, with the rise largely driven by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Kerry Hayes, project development manager at Simply Blue Group told Windpower Monthly: “The energy price cap hike, driven by the cost of gas, serves as a stark reminder of the need to increase the amount of home grown clean electricity we have in the UK. There is now absolutely no doubt that renewable energy is cheap, with wind power now the cheapest source of power for the UK.”

Hayes added: “There is no time to waste: we must remove the barriers to building out offshore wind projects at scale to improve our long-term energy security and protect consumers from further devastating price hikes”

‘Critical role of renewables’

Media reports today said experts at the energy consultancy Auxilione had even suggested that prices for consumers could even double from the new record level in April, to £7,263.

Commenting on the price rise, Ben Hunt, former head of corporate affairs at Siemens Gamesa, said: “It's clear that the exponential price cap rises place UK consumers and businesses in very difficult circumstances and show the absolute urgency of developing a long term energy supply that is affordable, secure and sustainable.

He added: “Renewables have to play a critical role in achieving that and the next administration must activate every resource at its disposal to achieve this as soon as possible. It might not help in February 2023 but can play a role in stopping this being a perpetual crisis.”

'Shift focus to renewables'

Carsten Nielsen, chief executive of K2 Management said "With some of the best natural wind resources globally and public opinion polling consistently indicating strong support, the UK is well-placed to rapidly increase its roll-out of renewables considering the recent rise in the energy price cap.

“Ultimately, supply and demand play a key role in setting energy prices and, with the price of offshore wind falling to all-time lows in 2022 in direct contrast with the likes of imported fuels, continued investment in the renewables sector could play a significant role in reducing household energy bills and reaching net-zero targets.

Nielsen added: "While the roll-out will have its challenges, the ongoing rises in the energy price cap, driven by fossil fuels, offer an excellent opportunity for the Government to shift their focus on diversifying the UK’s energy mix."