Sep 29, 2019

Outlook improves but offshore wind is not yet subsidy-free

"For the first time renewables are expected to come online below market prices and without additional subsidy on bills, meaning a better deal for consumers," said the UK's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy earlier this month. At a time of escalating climate despondency, with the Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg earning cheers last week when she ticked off a UN conference over the developed world's complacent inertia, the decline in offshore wind prices is a genuine shaft of light through the gloom. Which brings us to the really big news, which is the idea that offshore wind farms could be built without subsidy assistance at all. Is it really true that offshore wind is on course for this by going "Subsidy free"? Not yet - at least not in the sense of dispensing with public assistance. In the short term this might actually increase the visible subsidy requirement, as renewables operators have to price in the back-up.

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