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Renewables bring down the wholesale cost of energy, finds new study

Anew report shows that renewables are cutting the wholesale price of energy andlessening the impact of subsidies on bill payers.

The report has beenpublished today by independent energy company Good Energy and is backed byexperts at the University of Sheffield.

It follows recentannouncements by the Government that it will cut subsidies for renewables suchas solar and wind in order to keep bills as low as possible for families andbusinesses.

Good Energy¡¯s reportshows that wind and solar brought down the wholesale cost of electricity by£1.55 billion in 2014.

That meant an overall netcost for supporting the two renewable sources last year was £1.1 billion, 58%less than the cost reflected in the capped budget set for green subsidies,known as the Levy Control Framework.

Good Energy ChiefExecutive Juliet Davenport OBE said:

"This analysis putsthe bill payer at the centre of the debate around renewable energy subsidies.Let's give them the full picture and not just half of it.

"What is not takeninto account is the fact that renewable energy, such as wind and solar, hasactually been bringing the cost of energy down for consumers.¡±

"The bill payermoney invested into supporting renewables yields significant benefits, let's bevery clear about that."

Experts from theUniversity of Sheffield have backed the report and are about to publish theresults of their own study on the savings onshore and offshore are contributingto wholesale energy costs.

Dr Lisa Clark, from theDepartment of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, said:

"Decarbonisingelectricity generation is critical for the future sustainability of the planet.In the UK wind is a really important source of renewable electricity."

"At the moment thecosts of renewable subsidy schemes such as Feed-in Tariff and RenewableObligation have cast doubt over future of renewables. But there are very fewreports of the actual financial savings from renewable generation like wind andexisting savings to consumers."

"However, thisreport provides clear evidence that UK wind generation is typically saving UKconsumers around £1.5 billion per year. This is more or less the same amountthat the subsidies cost. At the University of Sheffield we have recentlyfinished a similar study and we find very similar numbers.

"So not only is windenergy decarbonising our electricity generation, it isn't costing any more thanany other source of electricity to do so."

Paul Barwell, ChiefExecutive of the Solar Trade Association said:

"With theGovernment¡¯s consultation on the Feed-in Tariff review closing this week(October 23rd), this report is very timely. This analysis shows that the neteffect on bills of supporting new rooftop solar - under the STA's £1 plan - iszero. The £100m we need added to consumer bills over three years will becompletely offset by the savings from solar lowering the wholesale price. Thisis just the evidence that the Government needs."

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