The UK Government will pour an additional £22m ($27.86m) into its latest renewable power subsides, taking the total budget to £227m for this auction.
According to a statement from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero published on Thursday, the government will increase the budget for established technologies such as solar and offshore wind by £20m, bringing the new amount to £190 million, up from £170m in previous announcements. The government will also provide an additional £2m to emerging technologies such as floating offshore wind, bringing total investment up to £37m from £35m previously. The government has also pledged to maintain its £10m budget for tidal stream projects.
By increasing funding, along with introducing annual auctions this year, the government aims to boost investments in the country’s renewables industry. The government has also said it hopes these investments will strengthen the UK’s energy security and reduce the impacts of the still-volatile gas market.
Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Today’s funding through our flagship Contracts for Difference [CfD] scheme… will help grow our economy by making Britain the first choice for investors in renewable energy projects and secure skilled jobs for future generations.”
He added: “This will be the case for established technologies like solar, and new innovations like floating offshore wind and, alongside our backing for oil and gas, carbon capture and our revival in nuclear, will ensure we can help power more of Britain from Britain for decades to come.”
The scheme supports the deployment of renewable power across the UK. So far, the government has awarded contracts to 52 projects in Scotland, representing around 30% of all CfD projects. In Wales, the scheme has so far awarded contracts to nine projects, totalling around 260MW of capacity.
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In 2022, renewables fuelled a record share of the UK’s energy mix, making up approximately 42% of electricity generation, up from 39.5% in 2021 and just 7% in 2010. This is compared with around 21% in the US and 23% in Japan, the government said.
On Monday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to approve more than 100 new North Sea oil and gas licences, sparking outrage from environmental groups as well as some politicians and climate scientists. At the same time, the government announced further funding for carbon capture and storage (CCS) clusters, including the long-anticipated confirmation of financing for Scotland’s Acorn CCS project. In its Spring budget, the government announced plans to invest £20bn over ten years into CCS in the country, although it still has not specified where this money will come from.