New Funding for Renewable Generation Announced

Wind projects based in the more remote Scottish Islands will be eligible to compete in the next competitive auction for less established renewable technologies (Contracts for Difference), it has been announced. The UK government has also announced £557million of support to be available for future Contracts for Difference auctions.

The announcements were made ahead of the launch of the UK government’s Clean Growth Strategy and highlights Scotland’s importance in the renewable energy sector. The UK’s Energy Minister Richard Harrington indicated that Scotland already has a strong record in exploiting the potential of clean growth with more than half of Scottish electricity consumption derived from renewable sources. There is a clear intention to create Scottish jobs and attract billions of pounds of inward investment that will benefit the island communities directly.  A 2013 report for the UK and Scottish governments concluded that wind projects on the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland could supply around 3% of the UK’s total electricity demand.

Responding to the announcement Scottish Secretary David Mundell said, “Wind projects on the remote islands of Scotland have the potential to generate substantial amounts of electricity for the whole of the UK and I am delighted they will have the opportunity to compete in the next round of Contracts for Difference. This UK government investment is vital in realising the potential of less established renewable technologies, as well as providing Scottish jobs in the projects supported. Clean Growth is at the heart of the Industrial Strategy, and the UK government is determined to unlock opportunities across the UK, while cutting carbon emissions as the world moves towards a low carbon future.”

The next competitive auction will be held in Spring 2019. The last competitive auction ended in September. It brought forward commitments for enough electricity generation to power 3.6million homes and secured 3.2 GW of electricity from offshore wind projects including the Moray East offshore wind farm that provides 95-00MW of capacity, which is capable of powering over 950,000 homes.