Renewables are cutting the cost of energy claims report

Renewables are cutting the wholesale price of energy, according to a new report by Good Energy.

The report is backed by experts at the University of Sheffield and claims that wind and solar brought down the wholesale cost of electricity by £1.55 billion in 2014.

That meant an overall net cost 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.

"This analysis puts the 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,” said Good Energy Chief Executive Juliet Davenport OBE.

"What is not taken into account is the fact that renewable energy, such as wind and solar, has actually been bringing the cost of energy down for consumers.”

 "The bill payer money invested into supporting renewables yields significant benefits, let's be very clear about that."

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

 Dr Lisa Clark, from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, said: "Decarbonising electricity 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 the costs of renewable subsidy schemes such as Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Obligation have cast doubt over future of renewables. But there are very few reports of the actual financial savings from renewable generation like wind and existing savings to consumers."

"However, this report provides clear evidence that UK wind generation is typically saving UK consumers around £1.5 billion per year. This is more or less the same amount that the subsidies cost. At the University of Sheffield we have recently finished a similar study and we find very similar numbers.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues