UK adds €262 million to biggest ever renewable energy support scheme

The UK has decided to support renewable energy projects through its latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction with an additional €265 million, of which €55 million per year has been earmarked for wave, tidal, floating wind and geothermal energy projects.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (Courtesy of UK Government)

Divided into three pots, this will be the UK’s biggest renewable energy support scheme ever, as the government aims to double the renewable electricity capacity secured in the third round and generate more installed renewable energy capacity than the previous three rounds combined.

The biggest chunk of the additional CfD support, €200 million, has been set aside for offshore wind projects to help meet the manifesto commitment to ensure the UK has 40 GW of capacity by 2030. 

Wave, tidal, floating wind and geothermal energy projects will be backed with €55 million through an auction pot set up for less established technologies. Of this, €24 million is ringfenced for floating wind projects.

For the first time since 2015, established technologies such as onshore wind and solar will also be able to bid. The CfD scheme pot dedicated to established technologies is worth €10 million budget, with a cap on total capacity set at 5 GW and maximum capacity limits of 3.5 GW imposed on both onshore wind and solar PV.

Offshore wind, as well as floating wind, wave and tidal, and other less established technologies, do not have any capacity caps set.

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Final levels of support and capacity could be higher and will be announced ahead of the Round 4 CfD auction opening in December.

Last year, the UK government said the fourth round aimed to increase the capacity of renewable energy from the 5.8 GW achieved in the last round to up to 12 GW, which could be enough to power 20 million electric cars on the UK’s roads in any year.