Energy crisis lifeline: UK secures supply for 12m homes — ‘clean, affordable, homegrown’

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The result comes from the fourth round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which provides a fixed price to renewables that have started operating since 2017.

According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), CfDs “incentivise investment in renewable energy by providing developers of projects with high upfront costs and long lifetimes with direct protection from volatile wholesale prices.”

They added: “They protect consumers from paying increased support costs when electricity prices are high.”

The latest CfD auction round, which concluded this month, secured nearly 11 gigawatts of clean energy, which is nearly double that achieved in the previous round.

This energy will come from a range of clean technologies, including off- and onshore wind, solar and — for the first time — floating offshore wind and tidal stream.

This, BEIS said, will help to “boost British energy security and independence with cleaner, more affordable and diverse energy created in the UK.”

The greatest capacity, reaching nearly 7 gigawatts, has been secured in the form of new offshore wind projects around Britain’s coastlines — enough to increase the UK’s overall built and under construction capacity by 35 percent.

This represents a significant step towards meeting the government’s target for 50 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, and will help solidify the UK’s role as a world leader in renewable energy and create new high-skilled jobs.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Eye-watering gas prices are hitting consumers across Europe.

“The more cheap, clean power we generate within our own borders, the better protected we will be from volatile gas prices that are pushing up bills.

“Thanks to today’s record renewable energy auction, we have secured almost 11 gigawatts of clean, home-grown electricity — which would provide as much power as around six gas-fired power stations.

“These energy projects already have planning permission, now they have a funding contract in place. We’re going to [get] these projects built as soon as possible to better protect millions of British families from rising costs.”

According to BEIS, the competitive nature of the CfD scheme has continued to place a downward pressure on prices.

In fact, the per unit price of offshore wind energy secured in this round is almost 70 percent less than reached in the first auction back in 2015.

Energy minister Greg Hands said: “This fourth-round shows the Government’s Contracts for Difference scheme continues to be a roaring success.

“Not only has it secured a record capacity of clean electricity, it ensures the UK will have a future powered by a resilient and diverse supply of homegrown energy by bringing forward a greater range of renewable technologies than ever before.”

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RenewableUK deputy chief executive Melanie Onn said: “Today’s record-breaking auction results show that there is a way to replace unaffordable gas with low-cost clean power generated by a wide range of renewable technologies led by wind, both offshore and onshore.

“Thanks to the rapid construction times of new onshore wind and solar sites, billpayers will start to feel the benefits of today’s auction next year.

“The auction also showed that the UK is maintaining its position as a world-leader in innovative renewable energy technologies like tidal stream and floating wind, which will both play an increasingly significant role in our transition to clean power to meet our net zero goal.

“Working closely with Government, we need to make this country the most attractive place to invest in.

“This is particularly important if we want to develop our supply chain in new technologies like floating wind, tidal stream and green hydrogen, in which we can lead the global market and seize the export opportunities this offers.”

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