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BEIS confirms £557 million for further CfD auctions

The government has confirmed a further £557 million for renewables auctions ahead of tomorrow’s Clean Growth Strategy launch.

Energy minister Richard Harrington made the announcement earlier this afternoon, also confirming that the funding will be limited to less established renewables technologies that make up the so-called ‘Pot Two’ generators.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed to Clean Energy News that this will still include offshore wind despite the technology securing record-low strike prices of £57.50/MWh within the second CfD round earlier this year.

The third round CfD auction round is planned for spring 2019, however the government has yet to confirm how much of the £557 million will be set aside for this forthcoming round, nor how many rounds the funding is planned to cover.

Harrington also teased the government’s forthcoming Clean Growth Strategy, expected to be announced tomorrow morning at an event in London’s Olympic Park.

“We’ve shown beyond doubt that renewable energy projects are an effective way to cut our emissions, while creating thousands of good jobs and attracting billions of pounds worth of investment,” he said.

But while the green economy was largely in favour of the new auction announcement, it was quick to point out that offshore wind was not the only show in town.

James Court, head of policy and external affairs at the Renewable Energy Association, said: “…we still find ourselves in a situation where the government will support new nuclear, new gas, new diesel, yet won’t support the most cost effective technologies such as solar, onshore wind and biomass, which are still blocked to market.”

“The energy market is changing rapidly, with cheaper renewables, a more decentralised grid, smart meters and battery storage driving this revolution. Yet the UK will be left behind globally if the government don’t start supporting the industry and we will be left with a higher cost, higher carbon and out of date system that we will all end up paying for.”

Alasdair Cameron, renewables campaigner at Friends of the Earth, echoed Court’s sentiments, arguing that the forthcoming Clean Growth Strategy must include more action on energy efficiency, electric vehicles and other renewables if the country is “to really get to grips with the challenges and opportunities of tackling climate change”.