UK to offer $366m in subsidies for renewable energy developers

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.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.


  1. None of this addresses the issue that renewables are at best intermittent and not as cost effective as claimed. The full commercial cost of offshore wind power (without all of the subsidies) and the “carbon cost” of the materials, erection process is neatly buried in all of the hype about these schemes. Renewables are a low level contributer to demand with long anti-cyclonic periods effectively limiting their input.

  2. Wind does not produce it’s nameplate capacity – more often, in the best locations, it will average about half that. The industry relies on heavy government subsidies for profit, at the expense of tsxpayers. Subsidies are so extreme that in some cases there will be no long term benefit to taxpayers and the subsidies amount to no more than a government givaway of free money, as would have happenned in the now repudiated project in the Gulf of Maine. Furthermore, wind generators amount to immense bird killing machines – birds are not usually killed by direct strikes by the blades they do not see, but by the pressure change caused by the blades passing near, which ruptures their lungs. Furthermore, the per-megawatt resource and land required by wind exceeds virtually all other sources of power by a large margin. It is overall a bad choice driven solely by availsbility of givsway levels of govrrnment subsidy, subsidy that amounts to nothing more than bad policy. There are other, low carbon choices that can provide reliable baseload power, there is no need to build seagull exterminators that ultimately result in higher electric bills and higher public debt.

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