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Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Tony Blair Institute has calculated that a wind farm equal to the largest offshore wind farm ever built must be completed every 10 weeks, to hit Net Zero by 2050.

UK ‘must build equivalent of worlds biggest wind farm every 10 weeks for next 20 years’ to hit net zero targets

Under existing framework, 90 per cent of all electricity generation in Britain will be on a government-backed contract, stifling competition, warns Tony Blair Institute

Harry Cockburn Environment Correspondent

The UK must build the equivalent of a 1.2-gigawatt offshorewind farm – the largest ever built – every 10 weeks for the next 20 years in order to hit its legally binding net-zero targets, a report from the Tony Blair Institute claims.

The report highlights how the current energy crisis, which has resulted in numerous small energy providers going bust, has exposed “profound problems of design and regulation in the retail and wholesale energy markets”, and says without major adaptation, the energy market is heading towards a greater level of centralisation and higher costs for consumers.

It warns that without an overhaul, up to 90 per cent of all electricity generation in the UK will be on a government-backed contract.

As a result of prolonged government support, the report’s authors warn that by 2035 energy providers will have “limited incentives” to respond to supply and demand.

Instead, the report urges a new effort to adapt to deliver a flexible, affordable system.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/uk-must-build-equivalent-of-worlds-biggest-wind-farm-every-10-weeks-for-next-20-years-to-hit-net-zero-targets-b1967122.html

According to the Dogger Bank Wind Farm website, their 1.2GW wind farm cost £3 billion (USD $4 billion). So 52 weeks in a year, 52 ÷ 10 x £3 billion = £15.6 billion per year.

Having said that, the cost would likely rise over time, the Dogger Bank wind farm is a over 100km offshore. If you need to go 100km+ offshore for a good wind farm site, how long will the extension cord stretch, after a a few years of building an equivalent new site every 10 weeks?

Of course, you won’t truly get to net zero unless someone also builds battery backup for all that wind power, in case of another prolonged wind drought. But let’s leave them in their happy place, it would be a shame to spoil their moment with some basic economics.

via Watts Up With That?

December 4, 2021