Renewable energy developers will vie for a share in a $ 265 million grant pot as the government aims to support a record number of projects in the sector through a milestone grant program later this year.
Under this program, offshore wind developers will compete for contracts worth up to € 200 million per year, and onshore wind and solar farms will be vying for their first grants in addition to five years.
In addition to the $ 200million funding pot for offshore wind farms, an additional 55million will be available for emerging renewable technologies such as tidal power, of which $ 24million will be set aside for floating offshore wind farms.
The government will also make $ 10 million available to developers of onshore wind and solar farms for the first time since cutting subsidies in 2015, enough to provide up to 5 GW of renewable energy capacity.
Dan McGrail, managing director of the Renewable UK business organization, said the program could generate more than $ 20 billion in private investment to boost jobs and the UK supply chain, while lowering energy bills and helping the UK meet its climate targets.
The industry has called on the government to increase ambition for new renewable energy capacity at the next auction and this is reflected in today’s announcement, he said.
The government has called the upcoming auction the biggest renewable energy support program, despite bidding less than the 325 million and 290 million offered in 2015 and 2017 respectively, as the falling cost of renewables means it could guarantee more renewable energy capacity than the first three combined government auctions. .
Renewable energy developers will compete for funds in a reverse auction scheduled for December, in which the least expensive projects will be awarded a contract guaranteeing the price of the clean electricity they produce.
In the latest auction, offshore wind costs fell by a third to a record low of around 40 per megawatt hour, well below the price of electricity in the wholesale market in the United States. energy, which means households are unlikely to face higher charges on their energy bills.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the latest round of the support program will support the next generation of renewable electricity projects needed to power our homes and help meet UK climate goals.
Boris Johnson laid out plans almost a year ago to support 40 GW of offshore wind farms by 2030, enough to power the equivalent of every household in the UK, as part of the governments plan to rebuild greener from Covid-19.
The Prime Minister’s 10-point plan also includes funding for low-carbon hydrogen and millions of electric vehicles on UK roads, as well as a target of replacing gas boilers by installing up to 600,000 electric heat pumps per year by 2028.
Heat pumps are seen as an important tool in reducing the carbon emissions of the UK building stock, which is responsible for around 14% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, mainly due to the reliance on heating from gas. gas and poorly insulated houses.
But the UK rollout is seriously lagging behind other European countries, including Poland, Slovakia and Estonia, according to a recent analysis of industry data by Greenpeace.
Doug Parr, political director of Greenpeace UK, said that if the government is to have a chance to catch up, it needs an appropriate strategy and enough cash to keep the cost of installing a heat pump. and improving energy efficiency is the same as replacing a gas boiler.
A government spokesperson said the strategy document would explain how the government plans to reduce the initial costs of heat pumps in the years to come while keeping equity and affordability for households and taxpayers at the heart of our plans.
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