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Energy: Costs

Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost per kilowatt hour is of (a) tidal and wave power and (b) nuclear power; and if he will make a statement. (125261)

I have been asked to reply.

The results of modelling of the relative electricity generating costs of different technologies undertaken as part of the Energy Review can be seen at:

The results of the modelling assume the cost of new nuclear power generation to be around £38/MWh, as a central case. The modelling also considered a high case of £44/MWh and a low case of £30/MWh.

The purpose of the modelling was to provide estimates of the relative cost of electricity generation technologies under different scenarios and assumptions to inform policy analysis. The estimates therefore do not represent the government view on the relative costs of the technologies.

The modelling carried out for the Energy Review did not consider the costs of emerging wave and tidal technologies.

However, the results of the Carbon Trust’s “Marine Energy Challenge” research programme show the lowest-cost offshore wave energy converters to be in a range from £120/MWh to £440/MWh, with central estimates in the sub-range of £220/MWh to £250/MWh.

Energy from initial tidal-stream farms was predicted to cost between £90/MWh and £180/MWh, with central estimates in the sub-range £120/MWh to £150/MWh.

The full Marine Energy Challenge report can be seen at:

The other form of tidal power is tidal impoundment that is the application of mature and well understood technology. This type of scheme was previously studied during the 1980’s at a number of potential sites, the largest being in the Severn Estuary. The results of the Severn study were reported in Energy Paper 57 HMSO 1989 (ISBN 0 11 412952 5). The unit cost of generation for the Severn scheme was estimated to be £75/MWh based upon 1994 prices.