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Power Industry News Update September 2019

Posted by: James Turner
24/09/2019
Industry News

Renewable energy to power 7 million homes at record low cost

Twelve new renewable energy projects will power over seven million homes at record low prices, thanks to the latest round of the government’s flagship Contracts for Difference scheme.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is the government’s primary method of supporting low-carbon electricity. It encourages investment in renewables by providing projects with a stable income while protecting consumers from paying increased support costs when electricity prices are high.

The new projects will provide around 6GW of capacity – 2.4GW more than the last round. For the first time renewables are expected to come online below market prices and without additional subsidy on bills, meaning a better deal for consumers. The costs of offshore wind are now around 30% lower than the second auction held in 2017, with projects now being delivered for as low as £39.65/MWh.

The new projects and lower prices are another step toward decarbonising the UK's energy system as it works toward net zero emissions by 2050, creating jobs and economic opportunities across the UK. According to research by RenewableUK, the new projects could see 8,000 jobs created.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The UK is leading the way in the fight against climate change, and it’s great news that millions more homes will be powered by clean energy at record low prices.”

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Offshore wind is a British success story, with new projects at record low prices creating new opportunities for jobs and economic growth as we leave the EU.”

Successful CfD renewables projects include:

The UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, with around 8GW installed at the end of 2018. This is expected to rise to 10GW by next year, and even further as more projects start contributing power to the grid into the 2020s.

In June the government committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and ending the UK’s contribution to global warming altogether. The UK has already made a strong start in decarbonising its energy system, with renewables generating a record 33% of the country’s electricity last year.

It has been estimated that the low carbon economy in the UK could grow four times faster than rest of the economy out to 2030 and could deliver between £60 billion and £170 billion in exports by 2030. Full story.

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