A comparative analysis of the costs of onshore wind energy

Is there a case for community-specific policy support?

Anna L. Berka, Jelte Harnmeijer, Deborah Roberts, Euan Phimister, Joshua Msika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is growing policy interest in increasing the share of community-owned renewable energy generation. This study explores why and how the costs of community-owned projects differ from commercially-owned projects by examining the case of onshore wind in the UK. Based on cross-sectoral literature on the challenges of community ownership, cost differences are attributed to six facets of an organisation or project: internal processes, internal knowledge and skills, perceived local legitimacy of the project, perceived external legitimacy of the organisation, investor motivation and expectations, and finally, project scale. These facets impact not only development costs but also project development times and the probability that projects pass certain critical stages in the development process. Using survey-based and secondary cost data on community and commercial projects in the UK, a model is developed to show the overall impact of cost, time and risk differences on the value of a hypothetical 500kW onshore wind project. The results show that the main factors accounting for differences are higher pre-planning costs and additional risks born by community projects, and suggest that policy interventions may be required to place community- owned projects on a level playing field with commercial projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-403
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume106
Early online date12 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Fingerprint

Wind power
cost
energy
Costs
project
policy
analysis
Planning
development project
ownership

Keywords

  • community energy
  • onshore wind
  • ownership
  • economic costs
  • risk

Cite this

A comparative analysis of the costs of onshore wind energy : Is there a case for community-specific policy support? / Berka, Anna L.; Harnmeijer, Jelte; Roberts, Deborah; Phimister, Euan; Msika, Joshua.

In: Energy Policy, Vol. 106, 07.2017, p. 394-403.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a06edb652a6749b7a868c731a28a0aaa,
title = "A comparative analysis of the costs of onshore wind energy: Is there a case for community-specific policy support?",
abstract = "There is growing policy interest in increasing the share of community-owned renewable energy generation. This study explores why and how the costs of community-owned projects differ from commercially-owned projects by examining the case of onshore wind in the UK. Based on cross-sectoral literature on the challenges of community ownership, cost differences are attributed to six facets of an organisation or project: internal processes, internal knowledge and skills, perceived local legitimacy of the project, perceived external legitimacy of the organisation, investor motivation and expectations, and finally, project scale. These facets impact not only development costs but also project development times and the probability that projects pass certain critical stages in the development process. Using survey-based and secondary cost data on community and commercial projects in the UK, a model is developed to show the overall impact of cost, time and risk differences on the value of a hypothetical 500kW onshore wind project. The results show that the main factors accounting for differences are higher pre-planning costs and additional risks born by community projects, and suggest that policy interventions may be required to place community- owned projects on a level playing field with commercial projects.",
keywords = "community energy, onshore wind, ownership, economic costs, risk",
author = "Berka, {Anna L.} and Jelte Harnmeijer and Deborah Roberts and Euan Phimister and Joshua Msika",
note = "Acknowledgements and Funding sources: This work has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No. 316020; and also from the Scotland’s Centre of Expertise on Climate Change (‘ClimateXChange’). We thank Vijay Bhopal and Sandy Robinson for their invaluable contribution to the original report and the Editor and anonymous reviewers for their comments on the original draft paper.",
year = "2017",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1016/j.enpol.2017.03.070",
language = "English",
volume = "106",
pages = "394--403",
journal = "Energy Policy",
issn = "0301-4215",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A comparative analysis of the costs of onshore wind energy

T2 - Is there a case for community-specific policy support?

AU - Berka, Anna L.

AU - Harnmeijer, Jelte

AU - Roberts, Deborah

AU - Phimister, Euan

AU - Msika, Joshua

N1 - Acknowledgements and Funding sources: This work has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No. 316020; and also from the Scotland’s Centre of Expertise on Climate Change (‘ClimateXChange’). We thank Vijay Bhopal and Sandy Robinson for their invaluable contribution to the original report and the Editor and anonymous reviewers for their comments on the original draft paper.

PY - 2017/7

Y1 - 2017/7

N2 - There is growing policy interest in increasing the share of community-owned renewable energy generation. This study explores why and how the costs of community-owned projects differ from commercially-owned projects by examining the case of onshore wind in the UK. Based on cross-sectoral literature on the challenges of community ownership, cost differences are attributed to six facets of an organisation or project: internal processes, internal knowledge and skills, perceived local legitimacy of the project, perceived external legitimacy of the organisation, investor motivation and expectations, and finally, project scale. These facets impact not only development costs but also project development times and the probability that projects pass certain critical stages in the development process. Using survey-based and secondary cost data on community and commercial projects in the UK, a model is developed to show the overall impact of cost, time and risk differences on the value of a hypothetical 500kW onshore wind project. The results show that the main factors accounting for differences are higher pre-planning costs and additional risks born by community projects, and suggest that policy interventions may be required to place community- owned projects on a level playing field with commercial projects.

AB - There is growing policy interest in increasing the share of community-owned renewable energy generation. This study explores why and how the costs of community-owned projects differ from commercially-owned projects by examining the case of onshore wind in the UK. Based on cross-sectoral literature on the challenges of community ownership, cost differences are attributed to six facets of an organisation or project: internal processes, internal knowledge and skills, perceived local legitimacy of the project, perceived external legitimacy of the organisation, investor motivation and expectations, and finally, project scale. These facets impact not only development costs but also project development times and the probability that projects pass certain critical stages in the development process. Using survey-based and secondary cost data on community and commercial projects in the UK, a model is developed to show the overall impact of cost, time and risk differences on the value of a hypothetical 500kW onshore wind project. The results show that the main factors accounting for differences are higher pre-planning costs and additional risks born by community projects, and suggest that policy interventions may be required to place community- owned projects on a level playing field with commercial projects.

KW - community energy

KW - onshore wind

KW - ownership

KW - economic costs

KW - risk

U2 - 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.03.070

DO - 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.03.070

M3 - Article

VL - 106

SP - 394

EP - 403

JO - Energy Policy

JF - Energy Policy

SN - 0301-4215

ER -