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A report issued by ORE in collaboration with The Crown Estate reveals that the cost of energy from offshore wind farms has fallen by almost 11% over the past three years.

The report charts progress between 2011 and 2014 on cost reduction and is measured in lifetime costs. The Cost Reduction Monitoring Framework (CRMF) was commissioned in 2014 by the Offshore Wind Programme Board at the request of industry leaders and government. The report shows that:

  • The lifetime cost of energy from offshore wind has come down from GBP 136/MWh in 2011 to GBP 121/MWh for projects moving to construction between 2012 and 2014 (this is as measured across the longer whole life of a project, not just the 15 years covered by Government strike prices)
  • the biggest single contribution to cost reduction has been industry’s early adoption of larger turbines. 6MW machines are now being rolled out, compared to the 3MW turbines that were standard until recently

The report shows that continued innovation and cost reduction depends on the scale of growth planned for the sector. It states that “whilst progress has been made in the face of a reduced deployment outlook, it is not safe to assume that the supply chain will continue to invest in the required technology innovations if the size of the market is not sufficient.”The report provides analysis of how and why savings have been realised, and identifies the on-going opportunities and challenges to further cost reduction.

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