A major report by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) now says that it will potentially cost twice as much to produce energy from off-shore wind farms than it will from gas and coal powered power stations.As pointed out in the Telegraph, this cost has been driven by the rising cost of steel as well as the drop in the value of sterling.

The report found that off-shore wind farms cost 90% more than fossil fuels and 50% more than nuclear energy.

However, onshore wind farms were found to be almost as efficient as fossil fuel when considering cost.

The UK now produces more off-shore wind farm energy than the rest of the world put together and has plans to have renewable energy such as wind power generating a third of the UK's requirements by 2020.

Dr Robert Gross, of Imperial College London, who headed the report said "We think that there are grounds for cautious optimism. Yes it is more expensive than gas and coal and is unlikely to reach parity for at least 20 years but we still think it is a worthwhile energy producer".

According to UKERC the cost to produce a Megawatt hour over a 25 year period would be £149 from off-shore wind, £97 for nuclear, £88 for onshore wind and £80 for coal and gas.

As one of the main cost drivers is currency fluctuations because we import 80% of the turbines and platforms, Dr Gross said that the UK should now be looking at boosting its own production to cut costs.

The main problem with wind power however is that it is unpredictable so we would still need other stations on-lone and generating excess energy just to meet the odd surge in demand as well as wind changes.

This is in contrast of course to tidal energy which is highly predictable in comparison and we are after all an island nation.

What it seems to amount to is the UK paying more for power and saving the planet all on its own. National Grid boss Steve Holliday was right when he said bills would have to go up for us to go green.

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