Green energy industry welcomes ‘really good’ package for Contracts for Difference Round 4 that promises to accelerate roll out of offshore wind, solar, and onshore wind projects. Up to £265m of support will be up for grabs for renewable energy developers in the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round which is set to take place later this year, the government has today confirmed. Unveiling the long-awaited details for the next wave of clean energy contract awards this morning, the government said it would make £200m available to support new offshore wind projects as it seeks to ramp up clean energy capacity to meet the UK’s climate goals. Onshore wind and solar farm developers, meanwhile, will compete for a share of a £10m pot as they re-join the auction scheme after a six-year hiatus, according to the update. The government plans to cap capacity across these “established” technologies at 5GW, with a 3.5GW limit for each, in a bid to address potential concerns about the landscape impacts that could come with a large wave of new onshore renewables development. A further £55m has been earmarked for emerging renewable technologies, such as tidal power, of which £24m will be specifically ring-fenced for the UK’s emerging floating wind turbine sector, the government said.
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According to Solar Energy UK, solar will be able to compete for up to 3.5GW of electricity generation capacity in the auction, although there is over 4GW of projects that will be eligible to bid. Chris Hewitt, Solar Energy UK chief executive, welcomed the “ambition” he said the government has shown, stating it will give a further boost to UK solar, which has already built 730MW of solar energy projects in the last 12 months.
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