Solar Power Auction Prices Raised By 30%


By Paul Homewood

There’s one more thing to note about this announcement:

As well as the massive price rises for offshore wind, prices have also been increased for solar power:

£61/MWh works out at about £85/MWh, which gives the lie to repeated claims of just how cheap solar power is.

It’s a lot to pay for something that despoils good farmland and does not even produce any electricity for most of the time.

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Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 2:10 am

Britain shouldn’t be using solar power at all. Britain is too far north for solar power to work well. Scotland is particularly bad for solar power. However, this didn’t stop solar farms being built in Scotland with the aid of gigantic subsidies. The capacity utilisation of these white elephants in Scotland in winter is just 1% when power demand is greatest. In England, the capacity utilisation rate is 2% in winter.

Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 3:42 am

I live on the coast in Devon, just about the sunniest spot in Britain. We get around 1780 hours of sunshine on average. It is beyond crazy to build ever more solar farms when the input is so low, always accepting it doesn’t need to be bright sunshine to obtain power from these things.

We have had a lot of rain the last 2 weeks and precious little sun.. Just when it is most needed-long cold winter nights-we get no power from solar at all.

It might have merit for off grid or back up power, but as intended base power it has no merits due to unreliability, poor performance and the impossibility of proper storage

Bryan A
Reply to  climatereason
November 17, 2023 5:28 am

If solar and wind are so cheap from Free Energy, why do they cost so much? And now 30% more!

Intermittentcy aka Unreliability

The inability to produce energy when needed

Alan M
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 4:38 am

Indeed, according to the national grid live website yesterday, was cold and misty with very little wind. Less that 10% of our electricity use was being generated by renewables. Good old gas and coal (more than solar and hydro combined) to the rescue.

Tom Johnson
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 6:41 am

The entire UK island lies north of the northernmost part of continental USA, the Minnesota northern border. I grew up a few miles from that border. In the dark of winter, the sun would rise around 8:00 AM, and set around 4:30 PM. Its maximum angle above the horizon would barely reach 40 degrees. The temperature would regularly get to minus that amount. The few hours a day that a solar panel might function could easily be counted on one hand, even with a couple of frozen fingers.

Anyone who would have proposed solar panels there would have been considered daft and laughed out of town.

Reply to  Tom Johnson
November 17, 2023 5:47 pm

If you live at 50N (say London) then the tilt angle for best winter solstice performance is 73 degrees. Mounting the panels on the side of a building would give 95% of the rated panel output in the middle of the day. If the building faced south then a good day in the middle of winter might average 4 hours full sunshine equivalent for a vertically mounted panel. A full tracking array would do even better but would never work across a field because the shadows are so long. Mounting panels on the ground is a waste of space. Having vertical panels overcomes any snow issues.

The problem with solar in all of the UK is its proximity to oceans. The oceans moderate the temperature swings but also cause high humidity. Any location where the ocean surface cools below 15C will have persistent cloud/fog. The Eastern Atlantic north of Spain is currently all lower than 15C.

Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 7:47 am

I appreciate, this is a trivial point, but no doubt, everyone, who has bought those solar-powered garden ornaments, will recount, how they stay lit, through the summer evenings, and deliver sweet FA in the autumn/winter months. You’d think people, would be wary of installing large farms.

Steve Richards
November 17, 2023 2:32 am

Even the greenest, dedicated, lover of all things green and “Renewable” will begin to realise that “Green” tech is just too expensive to be usable.

And that’s apart from the reliability/availability issues.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Steve Richards
November 17, 2023 2:41 am

According to the BBC, the increase in the prices to be paid to renewable energy providers will cut electricity bills. As I have said before, Britain’s ruling elite simply cannot count. They regard numeracy as irrelevant in the modern world.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 9:01 am

Its called ‘abbomathics’ after the disastrous Labour shadow minister Diane Abbott who clearly couldn’t count beyond ten without taking her stockings off.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 9:17 am

Yep every year they introduce more unreliables into the UK’s electricity production and every year my electricity bill increases – the latter is the only reliable thing in the equation.

Reply to  Steve Richards
November 17, 2023 8:22 am

Tim Blair’s law –
Nothing ‘green’ ever works properly.

Reply to  Mr.
November 17, 2023 1:10 pm

Tim Blair’s law is necessarily true, because the greens oppose anything that does work.

November 17, 2023 2:55 am

The triumph of delusion over reason

“Solar Power Auction Prices Raised By 30%”

At this latitude they need to raise solar input by a good 30% And the days are getting shorter….

November 17, 2023 3:44 am

Cheaper than Hinkley Point C – if it will ever get finished.

Reply to  MyUsername
November 17, 2023 4:05 am

In a country like England there is only one way to make money out of solar energy. 

“According to leaked documents from a Panorama probe, Liam Kavanagh, who used to own Ashe Park in Basingstoke, used Thurrock Council funds to buy other flashy items including a Bugatti Chiron for £2 million and a yacht for £16 million.

Thurrock Council invested £655 million into Kavanagh’s solar farm business Rockfire. avanagh’s legal team told the BBC the payments were approved by his company’s finance team and auditor, and that all the payments were permissible.

That’s £655 million that will have to go onto the taxes of the good, yet not rich, people of Thurrock

Well, that and the ludicrous subsidies for all the other renewables – and their increases in funding.

Bill Toland
Reply to  MyUsername
November 17, 2023 5:27 am

Nuclear power provides baseload power. Wind and solar power are intermittent. That intermittency enormously increases costs on the electricity grid. To get a real comparison on costs for wind and solar, I multiply their stated costs by a factor of 3. Even this multiplier almost certainly understates their true costs.

Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 5:38 am

Why 3?

Bill Toland
Reply to  MyUsername
November 17, 2023 5:57 am

I use a factor of 3 by looking at the rise of electricity prices in Europe whenever solar and wind power capacity is added to their electricity grids. It is a very rough estimate but I think as more intermittent power is added, the factor I use might have to be increased. I think that many European countries are near Peak Wind where it it becomes insanely expensive to balance their grids due to the intermittency of wind.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 9:27 am

In the early 2000s UK Grid balancing costs were around £500m a year and remained similar to 2015. By 2020 they had risen to £1.3bn and by April 2022 to £2.2bn as more and more unreliables were added to the grid at whose door much of this increase can be laid.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
November 19, 2023 12:22 am

£2.2B a year would pay for half a brand new reactor from the Koreans.

Reply to  PCman999
November 19, 2023 12:30 am

Oops, I should add – half a reactor a year! Takes almost a decade to build one, but that kind of money could fund several at a time, like the brand new ones in the UAE.

Batteries not included… Or even needed, unlike ruinable energy sources like wind and solar.

Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 1:14 pm

A factor of about 3 may be reasonable for modest levels of wind power, but the factor increases rapidly as more wind power is added. That’s because the added power is at exactly the same times as the existing power and therefore contributes nothing towards satisfying demand.

Kit P
Reply to  MyUsername
November 17, 2023 11:53 am

I did a back of the envelope calculation for how long it would take to build enough solar to match the power produced by one EPR.

85 years!

This was based on the best utility scale solar project I could find in the US desert southwest with an ‘expected’ design life of 25 years. .

At the time, it seemed like we would never get the 2 units in China finished. Now 3200 MWe are running.

Here is the deal with cost. The most expensive MW of power by several orders of magnitude is the MW not available when needed.

I am 100% confident that the nuclear industry can provide 100% of the power needed 100% of the time for 100% of the planet.

November 17, 2023 4:05 am

About the only tactic they have not pulled out to push this scam is to create some new Phobia to label we that see it for what it is with.

Peta of Newark
November 17, 2023 4:25 am

On eBay UK is a ‘shop’ selling 2nd hand solar panels.
They are described ‘Fresh from the farm

Which is absolutely true. You can get them in almost any size or power rating you wish and all with minimal (physical) damage and near-unlimited quantity.

Trouble is, they are all a minimum of 5 years old, many are much older and they are chock full of ‘electrical’ damage
i.e. When panel makers, installers, farm-builders claim and politicians 25 or even 40 year life for their new farm,
They are lying through their teeth

Even under the benign UK sun, solar panels,are down to 50% of their nameplate/original capacity inside just 11 or 12 years
At that, the solar farm becomes uneconomic so the solar farmers sells them on to unknowing, gullible/naive people. As seen on eBay and elsewhere.
Then they build houses on the ‘brownfield’ site where the solar farm was – which was the original reason for the solar farms = to create land for house-building

This thing is beyond monstrous

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 17, 2023 4:33 am

and the ‘mark-up’ on that land is off the scale.
‘Solar farmers’ might buy/coerce/steal off the original (cow pig sheep wheat beans whatever) farmer at say, £10,000 per acre. Not bad by any means for the UK

But 12 years later when it becomes a ‘brownfield’ site and 4 houses per acre can be built – it is worth a minimum of £400,000 per acre, often nudging beyond £500,000 if there’s a nice school, train-link to London nearby, or simply ‘just posh’

Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 17, 2023 6:57 am

And, of course, the electrical energy to be provided to all those 4 house/acre additional buildings is coming from . . .

Dave Andrews
Reply to  ToldYouSo
November 17, 2023 9:32 am

Why not sell the replaced solar panels to the housebuilders to put on their new houses to attract all those green buyers? 🙂

Reply to  Dave Andrews
November 17, 2023 10:34 am

Here, “across the pond” in the woke land of California, there is a governmental MANDATE that all new homes must include solar panels on rooftops.

Dan Hughes
November 17, 2023 4:46 am

£61/MWh works out at about £85/MWh, which gives the lie to repeated claims of just how cheap solar power is.

To what does this refer ??


Bill Toland
Reply to  Dan Hughes
November 17, 2023 5:04 am

The £61 figure is the 2012 index linked price. The £85 figure is the current price which will actually be paid. The £85 figure is also index linked to inflation.

michael hart
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 7:32 am

Thanks. I was also wondering if it was a £ to $ conversion typo until I checked. It goes up and down like the Assyrian Empire sometimes.

Reply to  Bill Toland
November 17, 2023 7:41 am

So it’s another fudge, to conceal the true cost?

Bill Toland
Reply to  bobpjones
November 17, 2023 8:00 am


Dave Andrews
Reply to  Dan Hughes
November 17, 2023 9:37 am

It’s all part of the con to go with the lie that unreliables are 9 times cheaper which politicians like Miliband constantly repeat.

Joseph Zorzin
November 17, 2023 5:18 am

Here in Wokeachusetts there is a big push to end building solar “farms” on fields and forests. Led by Hah-vid Forest researchers, MA Audubon and other enviro groups.

Growing Solar, Protecting Nature

These fools think that to protect the land, we can just build solar on roofs, brown fields, land fills and parking lots. They think that will be enough for the state to arrive at net zero nirvana. Of course that’s absurd.

I wondering if there’s a “general rule” regarding how much more expensive it is to build on such locations compared to the landscape? I should think it’s much more expensive. Many roofs will need to be rebuilt first as they’re old or just not strong enough. Many buildings don’t have south facing roofs free from shading by other buildings or trees. I presume building on parking lots must be very expensive. I’ve seen a few of these. You need to install steel beams to hold up the array of panels. I don’t doubt some cars will run into those steel beams. Spreading out all this solar across the urban and suburban landscape must require a massive rebuild of the grid? I don’t claim to know much about this subject- just guessing, but I bet putting solar mostly on buildings and parking lots must cost substantially more than on the land. Double? Triple? Anyone have a more reliable estimate than my wild guess?

Of course, solar in Wokeachusetts- along with wind turbines at sea is presented as a way to LOWER electricity costs! This state is already 4th highest after Alaska, Hawaii and California.

Of course I don’t want to see solar anywhere at large scale. OK, some on some buildings if the owner really needs to virtue signal, at their own cost of course, but neither on land nor on buildings and parking lots.

michael hart
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 17, 2023 7:41 am

“I wondering if there’s a “general rule” regarding how much more expensive it is to build on such locations compared to the landscape?”

That’s a fair question in many places. I recall reading once the (apocryphal?) fact that paying for a parking space for a Rolls Royce in central London will cost you more than the car on an ongoing basis.

True or not, the profit yield from solar has to be at least greater than the interest on the cost of acquiring/using the land.
In real world economics it would have to be much greater.

Of course, a modeller can justify any and every expenditure if zero interest rates are assumed beyond the economic horizon.

Reply to  michael hart
November 17, 2023 7:50 am
michael hart
Reply to  MyUsername
November 17, 2023 4:28 pm

Seems like standard idealistic greenwash.

The cost of paying someone to put up a shed covering land already used for other economic purposes is often prohibitive. Never mind doing it for a relatively small area of solar cells on top of a building. The maintenance and cleaning costs. Insurance for what is underneath.
I recall reading that this solar car-park idea has been tried and abandoned in parts of California, even out of the city.

In the UK the govt paid for many people to install solar cells on their roofs (nice if you are not so poor as to live somewhere you don’t own the roof).

Of course cleaning them and dealing with the increasing shade from the neighbour’s large growing tree reducing yields by a lot didn’t help one relative of mine.

When the subsidies disappear, hard reality sets in pretty quickly.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 17, 2023 12:09 pm

Bloomberg’s green-energy research team estimated it would cost $US200 Trillion to stop Global Warming by 2050. 

There is only $US40 trillion in cash, checking, and savings in the world.

There are about 2 billion households in the world, so that is $US100,000 per household. 

Ninety percent of the world’s households can’t afford anything additional so the households in developed nations will have to pay 10 times as much to cover it.

That means about $US 1 million per household in developed countries or about $US 35,000 per year for 27 years. The working people can’t afford anything near that. 

The millionaires and billionaires have about $US208 billion. That would cover it, but they won’t give up their wealth.

Of course, the Earth is still in a 2.55 million-year ice age named the Quaternary Glaciation, 20% of the land is frozen, and it snows ice crystals every year.

B Zipperer
Reply to  scvblwxq
November 17, 2023 5:33 pm

Here is McKinsey’s estimate for Biden’s Green New Deal:

Highlights: ~ $275 trillion, so ~ $9T per year, but it needs to be front-loaded to give time for the magic to work; all major economies (>85%) have to participate [no freeloaders!]; all projects have to be buiilt on-time. on-budget and work as predicted, even those things that have not been demonstrated at-scale (or invented; ~50% of the CO2 reduction is to come from direct air capture & sequestration); and guess who gets to pay for most of it?
One guess, so choose carefully!

Reply to  B Zipperer
November 19, 2023 12:43 am

All that has to be done on time and on budget, and no freeloaders, no ‘Murphy’s Law’ or bad luck – and yet they still won’t stop the Earth from warming up as it continues to come out of the last ice age.

Reply to  scvblwxq
November 19, 2023 12:40 am

“The millionaires and billionaires have about $US208 billion. That would cover it,” – how does having $208B cover $200T?
On second thought that $208B seems to low, especially considering Musk, Gates, and Bezos would probably add up to that much by themselves so you must have meant $208T.

John Oliver
November 17, 2023 5:24 am

This insanity is not going to continue forever. I was just noticing how short lived and weak the solar land scape lights I bought this summer are now that the seasons have changed. And things will change. We will not go quietly into the night

There are limits as to how long serious people will put up with all these things, the net-zero BS the corruption . …. I think this is going to be a wild and extraordinary 365 days ahead.

Reply to  John Oliver
November 17, 2023 5:41 am

“I think this is going to be a wild and extraordinary 365 days ahead.”

With this one I absolutely agree.

Reply to  MyUsername
November 17, 2023 11:32 am

Good that you can see the total collapse of the wind and solar boondoggle on the horizon.

michael hart
Reply to  John Oliver
November 17, 2023 7:45 am

“We will not go quietly into the night.”

Indeed. I’ve tripped up in the dark because those garden solar-light things are useless.
The loud words I uttered are not repeatable here.

Rod Evans
November 17, 2023 6:13 am

We should all be so grateful for these rather modest government grants just announced. It could have been far more. Never forget the woke Green Tory Party are prepared to squander tax payers money at every opportunity in their attempt to out socialise the socialists in Labour and all the others in the LIbLabConGreen Party. The Tory (sic) UK Gov, just awarded the wind turbine industry a 66% bidding price allowance. They are hoping that will bring in some interest next time round. apparently.

November 17, 2023 6:50 am

From the above article, attributed to :
“The government is also increasing maximum bid prices for other technologies, offering certainty for developers . . .”


When you have an inherently non-predictable, intermittent source of what you are selling—as is the case with wind and solar sourced electricity—you simply cannot have “certainty”, independent of any price point.

As regards geothermal and tidal sourced electricity . . . get back to me when both amount to, say, 0.1% of the total energy market in the UK.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  ToldYouSo
November 18, 2023 6:27 am

Yep, tidal power has been mooted in the UK for the Severn Estuary, Morecambe Bay, the Mersey Estuary and most recently Swansea Bay. None have come into fruition largely related to costs. The Severn Estuary plan, for example, was ditched in the late 1990s when the cost had risen to over £10bn and that was too much for the private consortium to bear.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Dave Andrews
November 19, 2023 1:10 pm

The tidal referred to here is not tidal barrage. It’s tidal stream turbines in open ocean like Meygen and O2 Orbital, both taking advantage of the tidal race between Orkney and the mainland.

November 17, 2023 7:35 am

Of course, no mention of the capitulation to offshore wind, raising the cost from £44/MWh to £73/MWh. An increase of 66%.

We’re just being screwed to line the pockets of those who have invested in ruinables.

We keep hearing the supporters of ruinables, bleating on about the subsidies give to fossil fuels, but ignore the massive subsidies they receive. When comparing subsidies against deliverables, FF are a good bargain, whilst ruinables are an unmitigated rip-off!

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
November 17, 2023 8:09 am

A pretense of sophisticated analysis? 32% here, 29% there, and 30% in-between instead of 30% across the board; probably a reporting glitch. Not that it matters, it will need an annual (quarterly?) “adjustment”. The more that is installed the worse the inflation will become.

Paul Hurley
November 17, 2023 1:31 pm

Slightly OT:

Canada’s support for EV battery plants to cost 16% more than announced, watchdog finds

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian support for the construction of three major electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing factories will cost around 16% more than initially announced, an independent budgetary watchdog said on Friday.

Gosh, what a surprise.

November 17, 2023 1:50 pm

If CO2 back radiation and solar radiation are both measuted in w/m2 as though they are equivalent, it sure is strange rhat solar panels don’t work at night

November 17, 2023 2:00 pm

Multiply the cost x 100%/capacity-factor% to get the true cost. So the actual cost of solar with a 12.5% capacity factor is actually 8 times sticker cost.

November 17, 2023 5:29 pm

The correct comparison is to the cost of fuel saved. You still need all of the gas and coal plants, you just run them less.

Coal is $10-30/MWh in most of the US. Gas is $0-25/MWh most of the time in most of the US.

If that $0 is surprising, look at WAHA hub gas in west Texas. It comes up with the oil and there are limits on flaring, so it sells for nothing. $10 mine mouth coal is pretty doable in a lot of the western US.

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