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Government to increase offshore wind subsidies by 50%

The Government today revealed that it will increase the subsidy available to offshore windfarm developers by 50% through an overhaul of its Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme.

Speaking at a Department of Energy and Climate Change seminar, Energy and Climate Change minister Mike O’Brien also announced that up to £10M is to be made available to develop the next generation of offshore wind technology.

“This week’s ramping up of financial backing in favour of technologies such as offshore wind is evidence of our determination to create the right investment environment for renewables,” said O’Brien.

“And the funding being made available in the next few months will put the UK ahead of the game for the next generation of offshore technologies. I know that right around the world, companies, including energy firms, are facing difficult times. We are therefore actively examining how we can help make sure there is sufficient finance and other support available for viable projects which are short of the investment they need.”

From 1 April, a new regime will come into place which will give offshore wind 50% extra financial support, through the Government’s Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme. This is as a result of ‘banding’ the RO, which means rather than a flat rate of support across all renewable technology, emerging technologies that are further from commercial deployment will receive greater levels of support to encourage their development.

Meanwhile, the Low Carbon Energy Demonstration Fund, part of the Environmental Transformation Fund, is aimed at accelerating the technology needed to see more large-scale multi-mega watt turbines in offshore wind farms. Applications will open next month for up to £10M of funding, which will be allocated to businesses in June.

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