Are wind turbines expensive?

Onshore wind is the cheapest form of new electricity generation going. It’s just silly we’re not making more of it.

Weighing up the costs of different energy technologies can be a slippery business. Prices keep changing, and no new wind has been built in the UK for a while, so it's hard to get an accurate number.

People will give you a price, but they might not always include everything. You want to look out for something called “levelised cost of electricity” which takes into account stuff like upfront development expenses, debt finance, and how much it’ll take to operate and maintain the things.

Using that measure, the government's latest figures predict that the price of building new gas plants (currently the cheapest energy source) will go up quite a bit, while onshore wind costs continue to fall. They reckon onshore wind will be the cheapest energy source outright as early as next year. 

Other energy geeks are even more confident. Bloomberg New Energy Finance have done some calculations of their own. They reckon onshore wind is the cheapest new electricity source, bar none. They first said so over a year ago, and we know costs have come down since then.


Banner image: Graeme Maclean, creative commons