The UK government is reportedly planning to increase the amount of clean energy it would be subsidizing in 2021 by twofold after agreeing to bring onshore solar and wind power projects into the fold for the very first time since 2015.
Energy firms would be competing to get subsidy contracts through a competitive auction that would be conducted at the end of 2021, which can support about 12 GW of renewable energy, or electricity that is sufficient to charge approximately 20m EVs (electric vehicles) every year.
The UK government anticipates the said auction to be twice the size of the previous 5.8 GW auction that was conducted in September of 2019. This 2019 auction witnessed the wind offshore costs falling by a third, to record lows. The government expects that the 2021 auction might deliver lower costs as well.
The next round will have three different auctions for separate renewable energy technologies to essentially compete for a deal that guarantees a certain amount of price for the clean electricity they create.
There will be one ‘pot’ for less established technologies such as tidal stream projects, energy-from-waste plants, floating offshore wind farms, and another ‘pot’ specifically for offshore wind projects. The third ‘pot’ would enable onshore solar and wind farms to contest for a support agreement for the very first time in over six years after UK Gov agreed to drop its opposition on these energy projects earlier in 2020.
Energy Minister of the UK, Kwasi Kwarteng, stated that the new auction would build upon on the 10 point climate plant laid out by the Prime Minister to transition the country towards its goal of putting an end to its contribution to the increasing global carbon emissions by the end of 2050.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan comprises a plan to increasing the nation’s offshore windfarm capacity four times to 40GW over the coming 10 years, the plan also has provisions of getting green hydrogen as well as millions of electric vehicles on the country’s roads, which would need a boost in the renewable energy sector.