The UK Government has confirmed plans to hold the next Contracts for Difference (CFD) auctions for clean electricity technologies, such as offshore wind, by May 2019.
Through the CFD scheme, the government aims to support new renewable energy generation projects.
Subsequent auctions will be held around every two years, signalling support worth up to £557m for the offshore wind industry, and will see 1-2GW of new offshore wind every year in the 2020s.
Under the new scheme, offshore wind and the remote island wind providers will be entitled to bid for contracts to provide power to nearly four million homes from Cornwall to the Shetland Isles.
UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “The UK renewables sector is thriving, with more offshore wind capacity here than anywhere else in the world and 50% of electricity coming from low-carbon sources last year in what was our greenest year ever.
“For the last decade the offshore wind industry has been a great British success story: increasing productivity, raising earnings and improving lives in communities across the UK; and today the sector gets the certainty it needs to build on this success through the next ten years.”
Currently, wind turbines generate 15% of the UK’s electricity, and the government has already met its objective to produce 30% of its power from renewable sources by 2020/21.
Offshore Wind Industry Council co-chair and Ørsted UK country manager Benj Sykes said: “We have proposed a transformative ambition to deliver at least 30GW by 2030, enough to meet more than a third of the country’s electricity needs, which in turn, together with the pipeline of regular auctions announced today, could increase exports five-fold, create thousands of skilled jobs and reduce electricity system costs.”