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BEIS: offshore wind scheme receives bulk of £265m CfD budget

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 16 Sep 2021

The UK government has announced the biggest-ever round of support for its flagship renewable energy scheme.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme will receive £265m for the fourth auction round of support towards producing more low-carbon electricity. The bulk of investment (£200m) is being pumped into offshore wind projects to help meet the manifesto commitment to ensure the UK has 40GW of capacity by 2030.

This investment aims to double the renewable electricity capacity secured in the third round and generate more than the previous three rounds combined. The additional offshore wind capacity resulting from the funding alone could power around eight million homes.

“The renewable energy support scheme funding of £265m is a further step in the right direction for getting more electricity from renewable sources,” commented Alison Ring, Director for Public Sector at ICAEW.

Ring continued: “Hopefully this will fund not only the physical infrastructure but also the soft infrastructure – that is the skills needed to bring infrastructure plans to life. Substantial investment is needed to deliver net zero with a joined-up net-zero funding plan put in place.”

CfD performance

The CfD scheme aims to boost the UK’s offshore wind industry. As set out in the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the offshore wind sector could support up to 60,000 jobs by 2030.

The previous round of the CfD scheme delivered record-low prices and secured enough clean energy to power over seven million homes. The scheme’s competitive design also aims to protect consumers, reducing the price of offshore wind by around 65%.

Commenting on the news, then Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: "The Contracts for Difference scheme has helped the UK become a world leader in clean electricity generation and lowered prices for consumers."

Trevelyan continued: “The new plans set out today deliver on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and will support the next generation of renewable electricity projects needed to power our homes and meet our world-leading climate change targets.

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