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£557 million in funding unveiled for new renewable energy auctions

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Up to £557 million in funding will be up for grabs for renewable energy projects and organisations in the next set of auctions due to kick off in spring 2019, the Government has confirmed.

The news, which has been unveiled in recent days as part of the Government’s clean growth strategy, comes after the last round of auctions revealed a dramatic fall in the cost per megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity produced for offshore wind – which fell by 50 per cent to below the costs associated with nuclear generation for the first time on record.

According to reports, the next contracts for difference (CfD) auction will allow renewable power organisations to bid for a slice of £557 million in funding – which will most likely be staggered over two separate auctions.

This new framework will enable projects which missed out at the last auction a chance to ‘revive’ their applications, a report in The Telegraph suggests.

The news comes amid ongoing concerns that the Government has failed to deliver enough support to cheap and clean renewable energy sources in recent years, such as biomass, onshore wind and solar power production.

In the last auction, however, the Government “took a bet on offshore wind, and the industry delivered in style,” John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK has noted.

Energy Minister Richard Harrington has said that the Government’s new clean growth strategy will help the UK to benefit from the global move to a low carbon economy in the near future, City AM reports.

Unveiling the next round of funding, Mr Harrington acknowledged that decades of research, coupled with the outcome of the last round of CfD auctions had “shown beyond doubt that renewable energy projects are an effective way to cut emissions, while creating thousands of good jobs and attracting billions of pounds worth of investment.”