When it is in working order, Horns Reef’s load factor is 0.43 and its average
power per unit area is 2.6 W/m2.
62Liberty ships –
–...fossil fuel installations in the North Sea contained 8 million tons of steel
and concrete – Rice and Owen (1999).
–The UK government announced on 10th December 2007 that it would permit
the creation of 33 GW of offshore capacity... [ ].
–...“pie in the sky”. Source: Guardian [ ].
63What would “33 GW” of offshore wind cost? According to the DTI in Novem-
ber 2002, electricity from offshore wind farms costs about £50 per MWh (5p
per kWh) (Dept. of Trade and Industry, 2002b, p21). Economic facts vary,
however, and in April 2007 the estimated cost of offshore was up to £92 per
MWh (Dept. of Trade and Industry, 2007, p7). By April 2008, the price of
offshore wind evidently went even higher: Shell pulled out of their commit-
ment to build the London Array. It’s because offshore wind is so expensive
that the Government is having to increase the number of ROCs (renewable
obligation certificates) per unit of offshore wind energy. The ROC is the unit
of subsidy given out to certain forms of renewable electricity generation. The
standard value of a ROC is £45, with 1 ROC per MWh; so with a wholesale
price of roughly £40/MWh, renewable generators are getting paid £85 per
MWh. So 1 ROC per MWh is not enough subsidy to cover the cost of £92 per
MWh. In the same document, estimates for other renewables (medium lev-
elized costs in 2010) are as follows. Onshore wind: £65–89/MWh; co-firing of
biomass: £53/MWh; large-scale hydro: £63/MWh; sewage gas: £38/MWh;
solar PV: £571/MWh; wave: £196/MWh; tide: £177/MWh.
“Dale Vince, chief executive of green energy provider Ecotricity, which is
engaged in building onshore wind farms, said that he supported the Gov-
ernment’s [offshore wind] plans, but only if they are not to the detriment
of onshore wind. ‘It’s dangerous to overlook the fantastic resource we have
in this country. . . By our estimates, it will cost somewhere in the region of
£40bn to build the 33 GW of offshore power Hutton is proposing. We could
do the same job onshore for £20bn’.” [ ]
–In a typical urban location in England, microturbines deliver 0.2 kWh per
day. Source: Third Interim Report, www.warwickwindtrials.org.uk/2.html.
Among the best results in the Warwick Wind Trials study is a Windsave
WS1000 (a 1-kW machine) in Daventry mounted at a height of 15 m above
the ground, generating 0.6 kWh/d on average. But some microturbines de-
liver only 0.05 kWh per day – Source: Donnachadh McCarthy: “My carbon-
free year,” The Independent, December 2007 [6oc3ja]. The Windsave WS1000
wind turbine, sold across England in B&Q’s shops, won an Eco-Bollocks
award from Housebuilder’s Bible author Mark Brinkley: “Come on, it’s time
to admit that the roof-mounted wind turbine industry is a complete fiasco.
Good money is being thrown at an invention that doesn’t work. This is the
Sinclair C5 of the Noughties.” [ ]. The Met Office and Carbon Trust
published a report in July 2008 [ ], which estimates that, if small-scale