Important new paper from the man whose work @thegwpfcom cites as evidence that offshore wind costs are not falling, clarifying that his work shows nothing of the kind…
Two years ago John Aldersey-Williams of @redfieldconsult and @RobertGordonUni showed that the apparent levelised cost of electricity from operating offshore wind farms, derived from company accounts, was in some cases higher than the strike prices agreed in recent #CFD auctions
That paper covered wind farms commissioned as far back as 2003 (North Hoyle), long before the current competitive #CFD auctions came in. It found no trend in costs, either up or down, instead concluding that costs varied between individual projects depending on circumstances
The new paper addresses head-on 'misreporting' and 'misinterpretation' of the 2019 conclusions, in particular articles such as @mattwridley's Telegraph piece of Nov 2020…... which Ridley claims the 2019 paper 'shows both capital and operating expenditures of offshore wind farms continue to rise.' Note both the difference in tense between the academic paper and the newspaper article, and the fact that 'no trend' has become 'rising'
As Aldersey-Williams et al write in the new paper, the offshore wind industry is changing so quickly that their historical analysis is 'an inappropriate and unreliable basis from which to speculate about the costs of future offshore wind farms.'
Two factors in particular are reducing costs. One is technology - bigger, more efficient turbines that can be suited further offshore. The second is less obvious but more important - the lower cost of capital resulting from the price stability of #CFD contracts
This alone can reduce the levelised cost of electricity from new offshore wind farms by about 20-30%, the paper shows
@thegwpfcom's claim that offshore wind costs are not falling and probably rising has never passed even the most basic 'sniff test'. Were it true, some of Europe's biggest energy players would wilfully and voluntarily be exposing themselves to huge levels of risk -
- and the UK would be bucking the global trend of rapidly falling renewables costs. Hopefully this new paper will put the argument to bed once and for all. The link, once again,… -
- and the main conclusion, again: '...exercise due caution when considering speculative and extrapolative interpretations of this work, and indeed in any attempt to extrapolate the future from past costs in this fast-moving sector.'

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More from @_richardblack

23 Mar
Pleased and proud to be launching today the first systematic assessment of #NetZero targets across nations, states & regions, cities and corporates, asking not only how far they cover emissions, population and GDP, but how rigorous they are
"Taking Stock"… results from months of collaborative work with @thomasnhale @stv_smth @ByronFay1 @katecullen_ & Saba Mahmood of @OxfordNetZero, and @johnlangab & myself from @ECIU_UK...
...not to mention a plethora of student volunteers who helped us gather data for the 'mother of all net zero spreadsheets'
Read 14 tweets
22 Sep 20
Undoubtedly the day's biggest news bar none... President Xi Jinping says China '...aims to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060'. It's the world's biggest carbon emitter, so it matters - in several ways
(By the way, because translations can lose important nuances I've pasted the wording above straight from Xinhua, which ought to know)…
First, China is the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas which causes climate change, and of all greenhouse gases put together Image
Read 15 tweets
16 Sep 20
Few thoughts on Making Mission Possible, the bumper #netzero report out this morning from @ETC_energy
As the title implies the Commission (which includes a vast array of super-sized businesses such as Tata, Shell, Rio Tinto...) concludes global #netzero is abundantly possible, and govts and businesses should set course for it - 2050 for richer nations, 2060 for the remainder Image
(That's compatible with the #ParisAgreement 1.5ºC commitment btw, as they're talking about neutrality for all greenhouse gases not just CO2)
Read 12 tweets
8 Sep 20
So what difference has the #COVID19 lockdown made to carbon emissions? We, @ECIU_UK - well @johnlangab, to be precise - made a graphic… Image
To tell the story, here's your host for the evening - Brick Image
So yes, emissions are down this year. But, as Brick relays, because global warming is related to the total CO2 we emit over centuries, 2020 is still a year that warmed the climate of the immediate future... Image
Read 8 tweets
25 Jun 20
Ten top takeaways from this morning's @theCCCuk Progress Report - delivered into a unique triple context - the #Covid_19 crisis, UK being off-track to its legally-binding 2050 #netzero emissions target, and the UK's hosting of the next, seminal UN climate summit #COP26
1) UK will get triple win from post-Covid stimulus packages aligned with net zero - jobs, levelling-up & climate. Report surveys 13 analyses from eg @CBItweets, @WorldBank & @ETC_energy & concludes 'green' measures can produce more jobs & more local growth faster than others
2) Stimulus packages should not lock in climate risk or reward: "Public money should not support industries or infrastructure in a way that is not consistent with the future #netzero economy or that increase exposure to climate risks.” Implications for airlines, North Sea?
Read 12 tweets
23 Jun 20
Remember 'Levelling Up'? Set to be one of the big themes of the Johnson government, before #Covid19UK intervened
Well... in jobs terms, #COVID19 is if anything a 'level-downer': regions of the UK with higher unemployment have seen a bigger increase in unemployment than the rest, as estimated through uptake of furlough and other schemes Image
So how could this be addressed? New report from @ECIU_UK, written by @jessralston2 and launched at a media briefing today, suggests home energy retrofits provide a decent route in
Read 9 tweets

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