UK secures record 11GW of renewable electricity in latest auction

The UK Government’s biggest ever renewable energy subsidy auction round has secured almost 11GW of clean electricity, in a move that will accelerate the country’s transition away from fossil fuels.

The result of the fourth round of the contracts for difference (CfD) scheme is almost double the previous auction round, with enough capacity to power around 12 million homes in the UK.

In the CfD scheme, the government offers a contract, or strike price, for a guaranteed minimum price of electricity for companies whose renewable projects win in an auction.

“Not only has it secured a record capacity of clean electricity, it ensures the UK will have a future powered by a resilient and diverse supply of homegrown energy by bringing forward a greater range of renewable technologies than ever before,” said the UK’s Energy Minister Greg Hands.

The largest capacity – almost 7GW – has been secured from new offshore wind projects, enough to increase the country’s overall capacity built and under construction by 35% and help meet the government’s aim of having 50GW of offshore wind by 2030.

Onshore wind and solar energy were both included in a CfD auction for the first time since 2015, with the former obtaining almost 0.9GW of new capacity, clearing at a per unit price that was more than 45% lower than in the first CfD round in 2015, while solar secured more than 2.2GW.

The fourth round also saw developing technologies tidal stream and floating offshore wind projects successful for the first time, with tidal stream returning a capacity of 41MW and floating offshore wind attaining 32MW.

Successful bidders include Orsted, Vattenfall and Iberdrola’s Scottish Power, SSE, EDP Renewables and Engie.