Eight major renewable electricity projects – including the Beatrice wind parc off the Morayshire coast – have been announced today as part of the UK government’s electricity reforms, providing a boost to green growth and green jobs.
By 2020, the projects will provide up to £12 billion of private sector investment, supporting 8,500 jobs, and they could add a further 4.5GW of low-carbon electricity to Britain’s energy mix (or around 4% of capacity), generating enough clean electricity to power over three million homes.
Once built, the successful projects will contribute around 15TWh or 14% of the renewable electricity we expect to come forward by 2020, helping to put the UK well on the way to meeting the UK’s renewable energy target. They will also reduce emissions by 10 MtCO2 per year compared to fossil fuel power generation.
The projects have been offered under Contracts for Difference (CfD), which form part of Government’s world leading Electricity Market Reform programme. They include offshore wind farms, coal to biomass conversions and a dedicated biomass plant with combined heat and power.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “These are the first investments from our reforms to build the world’s first low carbon electricity market – reforms which will see competition and markets attract tens of billions of pounds of energy investment whilst reducing the costs of clean energy to consumers.
“Record levels of energy investment are at the forefront of the Government’s infrastructure programme and are filling the massive gap we inherited. It’s practical reforms like these that will keep the lights on and tackle climate change, by giving investors more certainty.”
“Today’s announcements, the first step in the new EMR Contracts for Difference regime, will make a significant contribution towards that ambition by, in 2020, delivering around 15TWh – that’s 5% of total electricity generation – from today’s eight projects alone.”
The eight successful projects have been awarded contracts under the Final Investment Decision (FID) Enabling for Renewables process, allocating the first CfDs that are being introduced through the Electricity Market Reform programme. Under CfDs, generators and developers receive a fixed strike price for the electricity they produce for 15 years.
By 2020 renewable electricity could support up to 200,000 jobs across the UK (see note 1) and help to deliver a diverse, low-carbon and secure energy mix.
Since 2010, DECC has recorded announcements of over £34 billion worth of private sector investment in renewable electricity. This has the potential to support almost 37,000 jobs across the UK.
Between November and February 2014, announced investments grew by approximately £2.8 billion overall. This alone has the potential to support over 1,500 jobs.
The Investment Contracts (or early Contracts for Difference) that have been awarded to projects today set out the contractual terms on which projects will benefit from financial support. They are based on the strike prices published on 4 December 2013.
The table below provides a summary, by technology, of the number and capacity of successful projects.
Successful projects by technology
|Beatrice||Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited||Offshore wind||664||Outer Moray Firth, Scotland|
|Burbo Bank extension||Dong Energy Wind Power A/S||Offshore wind||258||Liverpool Bay, at the entrance to the River Mersey|
|Drax Unit #1||Drax||Biomass conversion||645||Selby, North Yorkshire|
|Dudgeon||Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited||Offshore wind||402||The Wash north of Cromer, Norfolk|
|Hornsea 1||Dong Energy Wind Power A/S||Offshore wind||1200||North Sea, off the Yorkshire coast|
|Lynemouth||Lynemouth Power Limited||Biomass conversion||420||Ashington, Northumberland|
|Teeside||MGT Power Limited||Dedicated biomass with combined heat and power||299||Middlesborough|
|Walney Extension||Dong Energy Wind Power A/S||Offshore wind||660||Irish Sea 19 km WSW off the Walney Island coast in Cumbria|