The Government has announced the launch of eight new renewable energy projects as part of its electricity reforms. The announcement is part of government plans to use greener forms of power generation, and it is estimated that more than 8,500 jobs will be created as a result.
The projects have been made possible by Contracts for Difference, which is part of the Government’s Electricity Market Reform programme. The projects include offshore wind farms, coal to biomass conversions, and a dedicated biomass plant. Under Contracts for Difference, or CIDS, generators and developers are entitled to a fixed strike price for the electricity that they produce for 15 years.
It is estimated that by 2020 the new projects will add 4.5GW of low carbon energy and attract 12 billion pounds’ worth of private investment. The Government says that this announcement will help the UK towards the goal of meeting its renewable energy targets and will generate enough green energy to power 3 million homes.
Commenting on the announcement, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said:
“These contracts for major renewable electricity projects mark a new stage in Britain’s green energy investment boom.
“By themselves they will bring green jobs and growth across the UK, but they are a significant part of our efforts to give Britain cleaner and more secure energy.
“These are the first investments from our reforms to build the world’s first low carbon electricity market - reforms which will see competition and markets attract tens of billions of pounds of vital energy investment whilst reducing the costs of clean energy to consumers.”
In recent years there has been a significant growth in the green energy sector and The Government predicts that 30% of energy production will come from renewable energy by 2020.
The eight contracts were awarded under The Government’s Final Investment Decision and Enabling for Renewables process. A new legislative framework that was announced as part of the Energy Act 2013 has made the renewable energy projects possible and The Government says that the investment will help to provide a secure and affordable supply of electricity, while also providing skilled jobs and boosting growth.
57 projects applied to be part of the scheme, and more of the winning contracts will be announced later this year. Some of the successful applicants include Beatrice, Burbo Bank Extension, Drax, Hornsea 1 and Teesside.