The UK has decided to support renewable energy projects through its latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction with additional GBP 265 million (around EUR 311 million), of which GBP 224 million (around EUR 263 million) per year has been earmarked for fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind.
Divided into three pots, this will be the UK’s biggest renewable energy support scheme ever, as the government aims to double the renewable electricity capacity secured in the third round and generate more installed renewable energy capacity than the previous three rounds combined.
The biggest chunk of the government’s additional CfD support, GBP 200 million (around EUR 234 million), has been set aside for offshore wind projects to help meet the manifesto commitment to ensure the UK has 40 GW of capacity by 2030. The additional offshore wind capacity resulting from the funding alone could power around 8 million homes, according to the UK government.
Floating wind, wave, tidal, and geothermal energy projects will be backed with GBP 55 million (around EUR 64 million) through an auction pot set up for less established technologies. Of this, GBP 24 million (around EUR 28 million) is ringfenced for floating wind projects.
For the first time since 2015, established technologies such as onshore wind and solar will also be able to bid. The CfD scheme pot dedicated to established technologies is worth GBP 10 million (around EUR 12 million) budget, with a cap on total capacity set at 5 GW and maximum capacity limits of 3.5 GW imposed on both onshore wind and solar PV.
Offshore wind, as well as floating wind, wave and tidal, and other less established technologies do not have any capacity caps set.
Final levels of support and capacity could be higher and will be announced ahead of the Round 4 CfD auction opening in December.
Last year, the UK government said the fourth round aimed to increase the capacity of renewable energy from the 5.8 GW achieved in the last round to up to 12 GW, which could be enough to power 20 million electric cars on the UK’s roads in any year.