United Kingdom government confirms up to £557 million for new renewable energy projects


On day prior to the release of the Clean Growth Strategy, the BEIS confirmed that up to £557 million will be available to support less established renewable electricity projects during the next CfD auction, now planned for the spring of 2019.

Low-carbon innovation is at the heart of the government's approach, climate change and industry minister Claire Perry said in a written statement to parliament. "By focusing on clean growth we are presented with a win-win".

"But meeting the UK's carbon targets is ultimately a numbers game and the real proof will be in the delivery".

The interim carbon budget targets are created to keep the United Kingdom on track towards its overarching requirement to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 from 1990 levels.

"Clean Growth is at the heart of the Industrial Strategy, and the United Kingdom government is determined to unlock opportunities across the United Kingdom, while cutting carbon emissions as the world moves to towards a low carbon future".

As part of the announcement, the government confirmed up to £557 million ($738.91 million) for the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction, which is planned for the spring of 2019.

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Image: Construction of an offshore wind farm. "They have listened to the industry by providing a clearer longer-term trajectory for improving the energy efficiency standards of existing homes, and adopted our own aspiration for upgrading as many of these as possible to EPC Band C by 2035".

Driving down emissions from heating has always been a desired area for action among green groups, and the plan pledges to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing homes now off the gas grid during the 2020s, starting with new homes. This incredible cost reduction is a reminder of what innovative industry can deliver when backed by competitive auctions. However, it is still a downgrade to the £1bn worth of CCS funding which was unexpectedly pulled by the government in 2015. Its plummeting costs mean they are also helping to keep energy bills lower while cutting carbon emissions. Funding is also earmarked for low emission taxis and buses, as well as walking and cycling. The new strategy is claimed to ensure that the whole country can benefit from new technologies, jobs and businesses that are good for consumers, the environment and the economy.

The news was welcomed by industry groups, especially those representing the "less established" technologies likely to compete for the next auction.

The highly anticipated strategy comes nine months after it was promised, having been beset by delays from political events such as last year's European Union membership referendum, subsequent Brexit negotiations and June's General Election.

A new CCUS Council will help the government to work in partnership with the industry and deploy CCUS at scale in the United Kingdom, the document says. The UK Government has much more work to do in putting forward credible policies to close a carbon gap of almost 10% by 2032.

Studies have shown the United Kingdom is the fastest decarbonising economy in the European Union, having cut its overall emissions by a third while simultaneously seeing its economy grow by around two thirds.