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A study has found that the UK Government could deliver 1GW of new onshore wind capacity at no additional cost to consumers over and above the long-term wholesale price of power. However, delivery is dependent on mature renewables being able to bid in auctions for long-term contracts for clean electricity, such as those offered to offshore wind and the new nuclear facility at Hinkley Point.

The report, produced by Baringa Partners, is based on the latest evidence on the costs of onshore wind and other established renewable technologies such as large-scale solar power. It concludes that an auction would result in further reductions in the cost of onshore wind power. The auction is expected to clear at £49.40 per MWh, meaning that successful onshore wind projects would receive limited ‘top-up’ payments over and above the wholesale price of power in the first years of their operation, but would then pay back a greater amount to the public purse over the remainder of their contract as the wholesale power price increases. The capacity delivered through the auction would result in more than £1 billion of private sector investment in clean energy generation across the country. Established renewable energy technologies – including onshore wind and solar – have been locked out of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) framework since the 2015.

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