Government backs eight new renewable energy projects

The UK government has announced that it will financially support eight renewable energy projects that could generate enough electricity to power more than three million homes.

Once built, all eight projects, of which five are offshore wind farms and three biomass projects, could add a further 4.5GW of low-carbon electricity to Britain’s energy mix (around 4% of capacity), according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

DECC says that the projects will also reduce emissions by 10MtCO2 per year compared to fossil fuel power generation and provide up to £12bn of private sector investment.

The projects have been offered under Contracts for Difference (CfD), which form part of Government’s Electricity Market Reform programme.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said: “These are the first investments from our reforms to build the world’s first low carbon electricity market – reforms which will see competition and markets attract tens of billions of pounds of vital energy investment whilst reducing the costs of clean energy to consumers.

“Record levels of energy investment are at the forefront of the Government’s infrastructure programme and are filling the massive gap we inherited. It’s practical reforms like these that will keep the lights on and tackle climate change, by giving investors more certainty,” added Davey.

Commenting, RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive Maf Smith said that today’s announcement by the Government will give the supply chain “confidence to invest in the UK, with costs falling as the clean energy industry develops and scales up”.

“However, we need far more onshore and offshore wind projects over the next decade if we’re not to find our energy security threatened, and the UK further exposed to price shocks from imported fossil fuels, so it’s important that the Contracts for Difference regime works for all renewable energy projects, not just those that have secured early contracts,” added Smith.

Leigh Stringer

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