Offshore wind: new auction round

The next round of UK energy auctions to provide clean power from offshore wind farms will be held in spring 2019.

The Minister for Energy and Industry, Richard Harrington, has announced that renewable energy projects will be able to compete for contracts worth up to £557m.

Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive of trade body RenewableUK said: “This announcement secures cheap, home-grown, clean energy for the UK. Greg Clark’s department is helping to build a world-leading offshore wind industry which can power a clean industrial revolution, creating new jobs and attracting billions of new investment.

“Last month we saw a record 50% drop in the cost of offshore wind. This amazing cost reduction is a reminder of what innovative industry can deliver when backed by competitive auctions. Onshore wind is the cheapest form of new power generation, and it would be exciting to see what projects in the right places could deliver for UK consumers.

“The Government’s investment and long-term strategy for offshore wind is delivering great economic benefits all around the country. Now we need the Government to show the same level of commitment to our cutting-edge wave and tidal energy industries. Innovative floating offshore wind technology also offers new opportunities. Ministers should send a clear signal that they understand the many ways our island nation can tap the enormous and diverse energy resources in our seas, and export these industries globally”.

RenewableUK is eagerly awaiting the publication of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which will be unveiled shortly by the Minister for Climate Change and Industry Claire Perry MP.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables said: "This announcement provides some useful clarity on the timing of the next round of auctions, and the ongoing commitment from Government to see offshore wind press forward, helping to further build the UK supply chain and provide clean, low-cost energy to British homes and businesses.

By Jake Frith

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