To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 24 June (WS 115–6), whether the statement by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath that the installation of 25 gigawatts (25,000 megawatts) of wind turbine capacity by 2020 would meet more than a quarter of the United Kingdom's electricity needs took into account the unreliability of winds, outage through breakdown and routine maintenance at sea. [HL4689]
My Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament of 24 June (Official Report, col. WS 115-17) announced the Government's decision to proceed with a draft plan/programme for some 25 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind farm leasing, in addition to the 8GW already planned.
Under this draft plan offshore wind has the potential to meet more than a quarter of the UK's electricity needs. This assumes a load factor of 30 per cent for offshore wind power which takes into account the variability of wind power and the non-availability of turbines due to breakdown and routine maintenance.
The department has not undertaken any forecasting on the costs of the infrastructure needed for 25GW of additional offshore wind power. However, any such calculation would be dependent on a number of factors including the location of future offshore wind farms (distance from the shore and water depth), turbine, supply chain and installation costs, and planning costs.
The combined onshore and offshore cost of connecting the 25GW of Round 3 offshore wind generation projects is estimated by National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) to be £10.4 billion (http://www.thecrowne state.co.uk/round3_connection_study.pdf).