Wind energy in £557m boost as next CfD auctions confirmed

The UK Government has confirmed the timetable for future Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions in what has been hailed as a major boost for offshore wind and onshore projects on remote islands.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry has confirmed auctions will be held every two years from 2019, with £557 million being awarded.

The auctions are expected to deliver between 1GW and 2GW of offshore wind each year in the 2020s. The next CfD round will open by May next year.

Perry said: “For the last decade, the offshore wind industry has been a great British success story: increasing productivity, raising earning and improving lives in communities across the UK and today the sector gets the certainty it needs to build on this success through the next 10 years.”

Providing long-term visibility

She said that to make meaningful long-term investments, industry “needs clarity over years, not months”.

“That is why we are also announcing the intention to run subsequent auctions around every 2 years after that, using the £557 million that we have already announced.

“In giving companies long-term visibility, we should rightly expect long term commitments from them, and I look forward to working with the sector in the coming months to explore their ambitious plans to invest in the UK supply chain.”

‘Unique economic opportunity for islands’

Welcoming the announcement, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Hugh McNeal, said:

“This is a ringing endorsement by Government of our world-leading offshore wind industry and its ability to deliver for UK businesses and British industry.

Boosting our ambitions for offshore wind is win for consumers, as offshore wind is now one of the cheapest options for new power in the UK.

Today’s announcement confirming the budget and timing of new auctions, sets us on the path do deliver the tens of billions of pounds of investment that will be needed to meet our ambition of at least 30 gigawatts by 2030.

This is good news for domestic supply chain which can look forward to a pipeline of new offshore wind projects that will support tens of thousands of jobs across the UK.

“This is also an important boost for remote island wind, which like other renewables, is popular with the public and is a unique economic opportunity for island communities”.

> Read Perry's speech