The Scottish Government has approved four offshore wind farm developments in the Forth and Tay region, which will have a combined power generation capacity of 2.284GW.

These projects can power more than 1.4 million households in Scotland.

The four projects are estimated to generate almost 135 million tonnes of CO2 savings over their lifetime.

Scotland Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said that these wind farms alone could generate a combined gross value of between £314m and £1.2bn in Scotland over their lifetime and generate between 2,567 and 13,612 jobs during the construction period.

"Granting consent for these developments will enable them to bid for an offshore wind contract for difference (CfD) under the UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform process.

"The consent implies the companies building these projects can apply for the UK’s $480m-a-year renewable subsidy programme."

"The budget for offshore wind (and other less established technologies) in the first of these rounds scheduled for autumn is £235 million, thought to be enough to support around 800 MW of offshore wind in UK waters," Ewing said.

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The consent implies the companies building these projects can apply for the UK’s $480m-a-year renewable subsidy programme.

The consent was granted to 450MW Neart na Gaoithe wind farm of Mainstream Renewable Power, 800MW Inch Cape project of Repsol and EDP Renewables UK, and 525MW Seagreen Alpha and 525MW Seagreen Bravo wind farms, which are being developed by SSE and Fluor, reports Reuters.

The consents are subject to strict conditions though, in order to minimise their harmful impact on birds and the environment.

The UK is providing subsidies to power generators in order to encourage them to shift from fossil fuels to renewable power generation technologies as part of its aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the 1990 levels to at least 80% by 2050.