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£500M of wind power investment up for grabs

Offshore wind farm  2by3 Credits to Chris Laurens

A £500M fund for offshore and remote island wind power has been launched by the government. 

Offshore wind and remote island wind providers will be able to bid for contracts to produce between one to two gigawatts of energy a year and power around 4M homes. 

Auctions will begin next year and will be held every two years, energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry announced at Newcastle’s Offshore Renewables Catapult.

Perry said: “The UK renewables sector is thriving with more offshore wind capacity here than anywhere else in the world and 50% of electricity coming from low-carbon sources last year in what was our greenest year ever.

“For the last decade the offshore wind industry has been a Great British success story: increasing productivity, raising earnings and improving lives in communities across the UK; and today the sector gets the certainty it needs to build on this success through the next 10 years.”

Business secretary Greg Clark also announced that the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the Centre for Process Innovation in Redcar will receive extra funding.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The Catapult network plays a key role in building on UK strengths in sectors and technologies that are going to be in high demand in the years ahead bringing ideas to products and services on the market.

“Today’s investment builds on the unique strengths the North East has in renewable energy and advanced manufacturing, helping drive the region’s future economic growth.”

Industry leaders welcomed the announcement but called on the government to go further to support other green energy options.

National Infrastructure Commission chairman John Armitt said: “Our National Infrastructure Assessment highlights the significant contribution that renewable energy technologies like offshore wind can make to powering our homes and businesses, and the need to demonstrate long-term support for its further development.

“I therefore welcome today’s announcement from the Government of a long-term pipeline of support for offshore wind, helping to give investors confidence in the market and to maintain the UK’s leading position in this field.

“But if renewables are to make up at least 50% of our energy mix by 2030, I would urge ministers to go even further and extend this support to other technologies including onshore wind and solar power.” 

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