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Energy security boost with multi-million backing for renewables

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps announces £22 million uplift for flagship scheme.

  • £22 million boost for government’s flagship renewables scheme, making available contracts for renewable power generation potentially worth billions of pounds in total over the scheme’s lifetime
  • funding for established technologies such as solar and offshore wind, some of the cheapest domestic energy sources available, will ensure Britain remains a global leader in renewable energy
  • the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme plays a key role in boosting the UK’s energy security, growing our economy and powering more of Britain from Britain

A multi-million-pound boost for cleaner, more secure energy will make Britain the ‘first choice’ for investors, Grant Shapps said today.

The Energy Security Secretary today announced a £22 million increase in government backing for renewables through the flagship Contracts for Difference scheme – taking the total budget to £227 million for this auction.

The scheme – launched in 2014 – is the government’s main system for supporting low-carbon electricity generation and has already led to an increase in the proportion of the UK’s energy coming from renewables.

In 2022, renewables fuelled around 42% of the UK’s electricity generation – up from 7% in 2010 – compared to around 21% in the US and 23% in Japan.

In the first quarter of 2023, renewables generated a record 48% of our electricity, all making strong progress towards our targets to deliver a decarbonised power sector by 2035 and net zero by 2050.

The increased funding combined with the introduction of annual auctions this year, will boost investments in Britain’s world-leading renewable industry, while strengthening the UK’s energy security, fostering growth in the country’s green industries and reducing exposure to volatile global gas prices.

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps said:

Putin’s barbaric action against Ukraine made clear our need to do whatever it takes to bolster our energy security.

Today’s funding through our flagship Contracts for Difference scheme – the lifeblood of our renewables industry for nearly a decade – will help grow our economy by making Britain the first choice for investors in renewable energy projects and secure skilled jobs for future generations.

This will be the case for established technologies like solar, and new innovations like floating offshore wind and, alongside our backing for oil and gas, carbon capture and our revival in nuclear, will ensure we can help power more of Britain from Britain for decades to come.

Today’s new funding for the current round (AR5) will mean:

  • an increased budget for established technologies such as solar and offshore wind – from £170 million to £190 million
  • an increase in the budget for emerging technologies such as floating offshore wind – up from £35 million to £37 million
  • maintaining £10 million ring-fenced budget for tidal stream projects

This funding boost is expected to send a powerful signal to the industry, increasing developer confidence in the sector every year and enhancing the UK’s reputation as among the most attractive places to invest and grow the economy, with nearly 25,000 jobs directly supported by renewable electricity sectors in 2021.

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