UK Energy minister Richard Harrington has confirmed that up to £557 million will be made available for renewable electricity projects in a Contracts for Difference auction in the spring of 2019.
This follows the publication of government figures from this year’s auction released by the UK’s business and energy department (BEIS) and National Grid on 11 September, that showed that the price set to be paid for electricity from offshore wind farms has dropped by more than 50% in the last 2 years. Offshore wind is now the lowest cost option for large-scale, low-carbon power.
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, commented: "The UK government took a bet on offshore wind and the industry delivered in style last month. The government is beginning to recognise this great deal, which they themselves helped to create, but more ambition is needed in order to reach its full potential. Offshore wind has the ability to deliver thousands of jobs, attract billions in foreign investment and secure hundreds of international product and service contracts for British companies. This opportunity needs to be seized with both hands."
Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of ORE Catapult, said: “[This] announcement on a new Contracts for Difference Auction for offshore wind is welcome. It will bolster confidence in the sector, enabling the industry to continue to drive innovation and build a strong UK supply chain. [It will also] … deliver a welcome confidence boost to the growing number of start-ups and small companies pioneering technology for the offshore renewables industry”.
• The UK’s government confirmed in September that over 3 GW of new renewable energy projects would be built in the country following this year’s CFD auction. The auction awarded CFDs to 11 new projects, including three large-scale offshore wind energy projects and a number of biomass projects.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) said that the auction results showed “huge price reductions across the board” for renewable energy technologies.