The UK Government has awarded eight renewable energy projects totalling 4.5GW.

The government has sanctioned five offshore wind farms and three biomass projects.

Projects include offshore wind farms, coal to biomass conversions and a dedicated biomass plant with combined heat and power.

Awarded under government’s contracts for difference (CfD), the projects will provide up to £12bn (€14.5bn) of private sector investment, supporting 8,500 jobs.

Meanwhile, the projects will add a further 4.5GW of electricity to UK’s energy mix by producing clean electricity to power more than three million homes by 2020.

The wind farm projects approved by the government include Beatrice offshore wind in Outer Moray Firth; Burbo Bank offshore wind in Liverpool Bay; Dudgeon offshore wind in north of Cromer; and Hornsea offshore wind at off the East Yorkshire coast; and Walney extension offshore wind, off Walney island.

The biomass projects include conversion of one part of Britain’s biggest coal power plant, Drax in North Yorkshire, along with Lynemouth power station in Northumberland and MGT Power’s Teesside plan at Middlesborough.

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said these contracts for major renewable electricity projects mark a new stage in Britain’s green energy investment boom.

"By themselves they will bring green jobs and growth across the UK, but they are a significant part of our efforts to give Britain cleaner and more secure energy," 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."

Image: Eight renewable energy projects approved in UK. Photo: courtesy of UK Government.