The great renewables rip-off continues

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By Paul Homewood

London, 6 April – Renewable energy operators have just been awarded huge prices rises, putting further pressure on hard-pressed consumers.

Generators in the Contracts for Difference subsidy scheme get an annual increase in the guaranteed ‘strike prices’ they receive for their output.

This year, many have received price rises of more than 10%. For example, the huge Hornsea 1 offshore windfarm saw an 11% price increase, which will boost its revenue by nearly £100 million per year.(1) Hornsea 2, due to come on stream in 2024, had a price rise of 14%.

With market prices for electricity now below £100 per megawatt hour, several windfarms have strike prices worth £209. There are several tidal power stations in planning which have been promised higher prices still. The Drax biomass power station has seen a 12% increase to £142.

Commenting on the news, Net Zero Watch’s deputy director Andrew Montford said:

“For years, ministers and civil servants have been telling the public that renewables are cheap. Make no mistake, they have been engaged in a cynical deception of the British public.”

Not the least of the clangers made when the CfD terms were drawn up in the first place by Ed Davey was the fact that the whole of the strike price was index linked.

This really was an utterly irresponsible use of energy bill payers’ money. Most of the cost of wind power is capital cost, which does not need to be index linked for inflation. Only the variable running costs,  such as maintenance, should be index linked. 

The fact that those terms offered by Ed Davey still apply to new contracts indicates that the government is happy to extort money from the public, and to hand it over to the renewable industry it appears to be in hock to.

Any pretence that they want to reduce energy prices for consumers is an outright lie.