The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced new auctions to secure renewable energy sources. This is likely to lead to a doubling of the country’s offshore wind capacity over the next decade, according to industry representative RenewableUK.
The next competitive auction to procure new renewable power capacity will take place in May 2019, with offshore wind, remote island wind and a range of other projects competing for Contracts for Difference (CfD). The minister for Clean Growth and Climate Change, Claire Perry, also announced that further CfD auctions will take place every 2 years and that auctions will be supported by a budget of £557m.
The UK already has just over 7 GW of operational offshore wind capacity – the largest total for any country – and a further 7 GW under construction or with contracts secured. The government¹s announcement of support for an additional 2 GW of offshore wind per year in the 2020s could deliver up to 16 GW of new capacity, which would generate approximately 20% of UK power. In 2017, offshore wind generated 6% of UK power.
The announcement follows last year¹s successful CfD auction which saw the cost of power from new offshore wind farms fall by 50%, making it one of the cheapest options for new power in the UK – lower than the cost of new gas and nuclear power.