£285m renewable support scheme opens to Welsh green energy projects
A £285 million a year renewable energy support scheme which will help build the next generation of Wales’s green energy projects has opened to applications today.
Renewable energy projects in Wales can now bid for funding in the fourth round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which is aiming to secure 12GW of electricity capacity across Great Britain – more renewable capacity than the previous three rounds combined.
The additional offshore wind capacity resulting from the funding alone could generate enough electricity equivalent to powering around 8 million homes.
Compared to the previous round, the fund is open to an expanded number of renewable energy technologies across Wales, with offshore wind, onshore wind, tidal and floating offshore wind projects, amongst others.
All will be eligible to bid for funding in the scheme’s auction process – this will ensure we have a more secure, more resilient energy system and support the UK’s transition to net zero through a greater range of energy sources.
UK government business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:
“This scheme has been key to the UK becoming a world leader in renewable energy and we are pushing those boundaries even further by injecting £285m a year into the sector that will bring forward exciting new clean technologies across Wales and push existing success stories to new heights.”
“From Cardiff to Colwyn Bay and Abergavenny to Anglesey, the abundance of Wales’s natural resources are helping to safeguard our future by tackling climate change and ensuring we move away from the volatility of global fossil fuel prices.”
A total budget of £285 million per year (2011/12 prices) has been allocated to the fourth round, with £200 million available for offshore wind, £75 million for emerging technologies, such as remote island wind, tidal stream and floating offshore wind, and £10 million for established technologies, such as solar and onshore wind.
Within emerging technologies, £24 million a year has been ringfenced for floating offshore wind projects and £20 million initially set aside for tidal stream projects, demonstrating the UK Government’s support for new, innovative technologies.
The £20 million per year support for tidal stream projects represents the biggest investment into tidal power in a generation, kickstarting a brand-new chapter for the tidal industry that could also have the benefit of creating jobs across the UK.
Wales already has tidal stream resources and is well positioned to play a global leading role in marine energy.
Over time Welsh marine technologies have the potential to significantly contribute to the UK’s decarbonisation commitments and could support hundreds of green jobs across the country, with projects currently in development in North Wales.
Onshore wind is competing in an allocation round for the first time since 2015.
Feature image: ‘Gwynt-Y-Mor’ © Tim Laws, WaterPIX /EEA
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