The UK government has announced its biggest ever renewable energy support scheme, backed by an additional £265m ($366m), looking to build up renewables capacity to power around 8m homes.
Under the latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, qualifying projects are guaranteed a minimum price at which they can sell electricity, and developers bid for CfD contracts in a round of auctions.
The fourth round of the scheme, which aims to double the renewable electricity capacity secured in the third round and generate more than the previous three rounds combined, contains £200m to support offshore wind projects and £55m to support emerging renewable technologies. £24 million of that is ringfenced for floating offshore projects for the first time.
In addition, the auction will include offering £10m to add 5 GW of onshore wind and solar projects. This will support investment in all parts of Great Britain, particularly Scotland and Wales.
Energy minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “The Contracts for Difference scheme has helped the UK become a world leader in clean electricity generation and lowered prices for consumers. The new plans set out today deliver on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and will support the next generation of renewable electricity projects needed to power our homes and meet our world-leading climate change targets.”
The CfD scheme has boosted the success of the UK’s offshore wind sector, which could support up to 60,000 jobs by 2030. It should also help the UK meet the manifesto commitment to ensure it has 40 GW of capacity by 2030.