Continuing the effective ban on the construction of onshore wind farms could cost the UK an extra £1 billion over the next five years, according to a new report.

The Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) calculated that erecting wind farms with a combined capacity of 1GW would be £30 million per year cheaper than constructing offshore wind farms.

The report said 1GW of onshore wind would be £100 million cheaper than biomass or nuclear power, and also cost less than gas-fired power stations.
It said onshore wind farms could be built at a cost of £55/MWh compared with £66/MWh for gas.

‘Increasingly perverse’

Richard Black, Director of the ECIU, said: “The effective ban on the cheapest form of new power generation looks increasingly perverse.

“For a Government committed to making energy cheaper, this risks not only locking people into higher bills, but also runs contrary to its aim of having the lowest energy costs in Europe.

“David Cameron promised no new subsidies for onshore wind.

“But it now doesn’t need a subsidy – research indicates fixed-price contracts would more than pay for themselves.”

> Download the report