United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Economics

The fragile finances of nuclear power in Britain may serve to underscore the point that new nuclear build is unlikely to deliver carbon-free electricity at prices on a par with wind. On a level playing field, wind can undercut nuclear, can look coal in the eye (without accounting for external costs) and it is not far away from being competitive with gas. The fact that wind's generation costs are falling is being masked on competitive markets, where shortages of green power to meet mandates is driving up purchase prices. But an analysis of cost trends, published in WindStats Newsletter, a sister journal to Windpower Monthly, reveals that wind will be cheaper than gas between 2005 and 2009. The price of wind will lie at $23-26/MWh in 2010 and fall to $18-21/MWh by 2020, reports WindStats. If gas prices rise more sharply than expected, the cross over point with wind will happen within three years.

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