All at Sea – Forget Wind Industry Spin: Offshore Wind Costs are Not Falling, They’re Staggering

Over the last year or so, the Australian wind industry, its parasites and spruikers have pointed to a number of proposals to spear mega-windmills offshore and out in the briny blue, including one monstrous boondoggle pitched for the waters off of the Victorian coast.

These pie-in-the-sky plans are accompanied with the usual guff about wind power being free, and getting cheaper all the time.

As yet, Australia doesn’t have any offshore turbines.

And that’s probably because the true cost of offshore wind power is magnitudes greater than the fantasists would have you believe.

From what Professor Gordon Hughes details, wind industry claims about offshore wind power being cheap have just been sunk.

Forget the Spin: Offshore Wind Costs are Not Falling
Global Warming Policy Foundation
Gordon Hughes, Capell Aris and John Constable
25 September 2017

Spin put on the government’s recently announced strike prices to three large offshore wind farms has misled many into thinking that the costs of offshore wind are falling.

However, no actual capital cost figures have been provided for the three windfarms (Hornsea, Moray East, or Triton Knoll), and the strike prices are a poor guide to underlying costs.

In fact, empirical CAPEX data collated for the first time in a new statistical study published today by GWPF shows that the capital costs for offshore wind remain high. Moreover, as the wind industry moves into deeper water, costs are actually rising offsetting any reduction in costs due to technical progress.

The study’s authors conclude that wind farm companies are probably willing to offer economically non-viable CfD prices because they regard the CfD contract as low cost, no penalty “option” for future development. At the same time, they are securing a market position and inhibiting competition, with actual wind farm construction conditional on obtaining more generous terms in the future.

Should the market price rise above the contracted price, because of rising fossil fuel costs or a further rise in the UK’s carbon tax, companies would simply cancel the CfD contract and go with the higher price. However, if there is no significant probability of that elevated market price, these sites are very unlikely to be built.

Professor Gordon Hughes, the paper’s lead author, said:

“Contrary to gullible media exaggerations, capital costs for offshore wind have not fallen, and the sites are not economic at the recently announced prices. The developers are just gambling on the small chance of very high fossil fuel prices in the near future, or more likely on a high carbon price.”

Professor Hughes added:

“The low CfD prices offered in the auction are just a normal albeit very risky business speculation. They certainly are not the dawn of a new age for offshore wind.”

Full paper : Offshore Wind Strike Prices: Behind The Headlines (OffshoreStrikePrice)
Data used in Hughes, Aris and Constable (Offshore.wind_.data_)
Global Warming Policy Foundation

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Jackie Rovensky says:

    We are very lucky not to have these monsters off our shores and hopefully we never will have them.
    But as has been said turbines with blades the size of those used on offshore turbines are proposed and being readied for installation on onshore turbines.
    The increasing sizes of turbines and the numbers in each project, as well as the contiguous nature of proposals and their approvals are moving us toward dangers that are possibly going to have massive flow on effects that the Green Jelly mob have not accounted for or even thought about.
    The constant increase in size of turbines and the enormity of the spread of these things across large areas of our beautiful land will affect every aspect of our way of life.
    Back in 2009 an article “Could Windmills Alter the Weather” was published in the Meteorology News,
    Quoting from the article ‘…when air flows through wind turbine blades, the path that the flow takes is slightly altered.’ the word slightly obviously refers to individual turbines what we need to do is consider the cumulative effect of multiple turbines.
    Since then there have been a number of articles/research undertaken by others into how vast arrays of massive turbines could prevent the destructive nature of hurricanes and tornadoes.
    Even to the extent they have undertaken computer modelling showing that storm damage such as Katrina caused could have been averted.
    Though to achieve this it would require thousands of massive offshore turbines in one array to be successful – that is if the computer modelling is accurate.
    However it seems this thinking does not consider the on-flow effects of such actions. Nature has its role to play in our world, and we need to be careful when we start to look for ways of changing it.
    There has been some work done here in Australia on micro climate changes to the environment where turbines are installed, to see if there is any change in the localised weather pattern, if the land is warmer or dryer, but it seems we have not seen any large scale research into the wider effects of changes in wind pattern and the flow-on effect of such changes.
    What will change in Western Victoria if the number of turbines with larger and larger blades are built with very little buffer between projects go ahead. Will the land become less productive, will it be warmer or cooler will the seasons be altered, will there be a flow on effect in other districts as the wind patterns are changed by the turning blades on the towering monsters?
    Has the UN undertaken or is it going to undertake research across the globe as to the possible effects on the climate caused by changing weather patterns due to turbines altering local weather patterns – what about the accumulated effects?
    If the USA decided to do trial sites smaller than those looked at in computer modelling what will the outcome be for other areas of America and the world.
    Is it possible – without doing damage elsewhere – to ‘…reduce the power of a hurricane so much that the turbines themselves would not be damaged’ July 23 2014. Note the emphasis is on not damaging the turbines – what about not damaging the environment?
    The horrendous situation of world leaders, the UN and researchers not taking into consideration the ramifications of pushing ahead with a pie in the sky process of trying to reduce ’emissions’ from electricity production and use, without first considering and working out which would be the better way to go about it and which would not see more damage done, is outstandingly, patently, stupid.
    We are constantly seeing the wind industry flaunting their position of self proclaimed ‘God Almighty’, to push ahead changing not only the way in which we produce electricity but attempting to manipulate Nature to achieve its wishes with no regard for what it leaves behind or damages as it moves on getting stronger and bigger by the day.

  2. Noel Dean says:

    People must be warned that the sound at any Victorian wind farm does not get measured as one would expect. Monitoring is done using L90 which is a level that is exceeded for 90 percent of the measured period, which is not the sound experienced. I have been at Sonia’s and Crispin’s house and the sound / air pressure was dreadful. The sound heard by me was a high frequency sound and this has been demonstrated by Crispin many times. If this sound was measured correctly there is a legal requirement of turbines to be shut down and removed in the Waubra Wind Farm permit.

    Because people in the planning department have failed their duty of care by not understanding the wording of the noise section of the planning permit. People like Crispin and Sonia have been left to deal with the excessive sound as best as they can when this is the responsibility of the planning minister. The problem is the planning minister is poorly advised by people who are not fit to be called public servants. We had asked endlessly for the sound to be considered against the required standard but this never happened and the same has happened in all Victorian Wind Farms that have caused complaints, mainly because proper process has been obstructed.

    Corruption of our complaint investigation within the planning department from the planning minister down to local office is a disgrace. The lack of honesty, respect for people’s right to know the true sound being emitted by the wind turbines has been interfered with by the developer at the Waubra Wind farm, as they have been involved at every stage of our complaint process. They have been allowed to write there own complaint investigation procedure. They changed this procedure to ensure complaints do not get investigated by measurement at all.

    The standard used for prediction of sound emmissions from larger turbine blades has been corrupted by the Waubra Wind Farm Developer and withheld from Windfarm hearings with the blessing of other planning panels. This has been facilitated by acoustic people acting for the developer who failed to understand the wording in the noise/sound standards used. The consequence of this is that the predictions made are not being checked at an operating Wind Farm, independent of operator intervention.

    In response to Crispin’s question “would you like to live next door to a wind farm facility with larger blades”, I SAY NO!. Not within at least 8 kms, because I have measured pulsing at a low frequency rate – of high frequency sounds More than 4000hz – at a number of wind farms, where people live and complain about noise. I believe death from this exposure can can not be ruled out. While there is no measurement of the sound pressure level and/or air pressure variation is not known. I say this because the planning department has no evidence of sound pressure levels at the Waubra Wind Farm. In our complaint situation which requires the sound level to be measured, one must surely consider why is there a noise limit and no sound level measurements of any meaning done.

    This can only be from lack of law enforcement, being either lack of will by the planning ministers involved and/or civil disobedience by wind farm operators – as the permit has provision for resolution of complaints. Like at the Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm this has not happened to the required complainant’s satisfaction, because of continued lack of evidence, even though nearly 10 years has passed and many tens of millions have been paid out for so called compliance by the regulators to developers.

    Noel Dean

    • david mortimer says:

      Even 8km set back may be only an opinion. Alida and I need to be at least 40km separated from wind turbines to be unaffected by their acoustic emanations (so far.) I suspect that there may not be an instrument (yet) that can measure and display what we can feel.

      • I’m sure that if there was a will David measurement of infrasound would be possible even as far as 40 km distant from turbines. After all if Neil Kelley of NASA back in the 1980s had little difficulty in measuring the noise produced by a relatively small turbine some 10 km, then I can’t believe that measurement at 40 km wouldn’t be possible today.
        Infrasound measurements have been used to detect nuclear explosions many thousands of kilometres away for more than 50 years. It’s not rocket science as they say, but in our brave new world more likely a case of governments preferring to look the other way lest they discover more inconvenient facts that might challenge their ideological obsessions.

    • Crispin Trist says:

      Thank you Noel for your thoughts and comments. The way the wind industry has treated you is disgusting.

      And that goes for David and Alida too. Here is a couple who built their own home and were living off grid only to be driven out by the nearby wind facility.

      • Noel Dean says:

        Thanks Crispin. Like most sufferers the mental, physical and financial harm only gets worse as time goes by. My family gets more sensitive to sound as times goes by. I do not discount being affected at 30 to 40 kms away as nuclear testing was being blamed for sound that was found to be from Windfarm operation that was 30 to 40 kms away.

        As for the financial harm it cost us well in excess of $2 million to mitigate the harm to my family after we made a compliant of non compliance to the sound level by removing our selves selling all of our Waubra Wind Farm affected farm properties and relocating our farming activities else what was thought to be safe locations only to be affected by another Windfarm and a communications tower. We were required to lease out another property about 5 to 6 kms from another Windfarm. The Planning Minister said in a letter to the Manging director of ACCIONA that the Windfarm was currently in compliance with condition 14 of permit in 2015. This was without any measurement done within 10 mts of our dwelling for all of the night time period and no assessment of SACs, as required by permit. This sort of conduct has allowed ACCIONA to collect around $200 Million. Not bad for no evidence required. The Windfarm is compliant because ACCIONA said it was. This was told to me by their mate in the Planning department.

        To me ACCIONA stands for Acciona’s Cruel Cowards Impeded Objective Noise Assessment. That was requested by Mr Guy in 2011 and Mr Guy was a Cruel Coward for not enforcing the law on the advice of those within the department and there has been a coverup within the planning system ever since ACCIONA laid down a path of human destruction. Which is evidenced in their our authored noise monitoring plan that identifies that the sound limits by prediction is to be 10 dBA above the legal requirement. How stupid and careless can planning people be?

        Noel Dean

  3. Crispin Trist says:

    South West Victoria is faced with the prospect of onshore wind turbines up to 220 metres in height. This is twice the height of the current wind turbines at the Cape Bridgewater wind farm.

    I have produced a short video to illustrate this point.

    Would you really want to live next door to one of these facilities?

    Link below to my latest video Wind FARMAGEDDON.

    • Jackie Rovensky says:

      Thank you Crispin this is a good way to bring home the horror of what impact double the size of the CB turbines will be like for those living near to them or even those living not that near to them.

      • Crispin Trist says:

        Cheers Jackie.

        Victoria is a wonderful State. I’ve discovered it late in life. Unfortunately it is at a time in history when it is about to be destroyed by the Global Wind Industry because it is cheaper to build offshore scale wind turbines, onshore!

        Wake up Victoria. The wind industry are taking you for fools!

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