UK opens largest ever renewable energy auction

The United Kingdom has opened its fourth Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction for renewable energy, with a record 12GW of new capacity set to be developed by the winning bidders.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has also offered £285 million to support projects, with £200 million available for the UK’s flourishing offshore wind sector.

£75 million has been site aside for emerging technologies, including remote island wind, tidal stream and floating offshore wind, with the remaining £10 million designated for established technologies such as solar and onshore wind.

The latest CfD round also aims to support the development of open and competitive supply chains while promoting innovation and skills in the low-carbon electricity generation sector, according to officials.

“Our biggest ever renewables auction opening today will solidify the UK’s role as a world-leader in renewable electricity, while backing new, future-proof industries across the country to create new jobs,” said Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

“By generating more renewable energy in the UK, we can ensure greater energy independence by moving away from volatile global fossil fuel prices, all while driving down the cost of new energy.”

RenewableUK CEO Dan McGrail described the auction is a ‘landmark’ moment: “More than 16GW of wind could be ready to compete and over 23GW of renewables overall. We could see investment of over £20 billion in this round, creating thousands of jobs and cutting costs for energy consumers,” he said.