The UK government has announced the next Contract for Difference (CfD) auction will take place in spring 2019, with up to £557m funding available for so-called less established renewables, such as offshore wind.

The money for future CfD 'Pot 2' auctions will be made available as part of the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy due to published shortly.

Energy minister Richard Harrington said: “The government’s Clean Growth Strategy will set out how the whole of the UK can benefit from the global move to a low-carbon economy.

“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.”

The latest CfD auction saw the cost of new offshore wind fall by 50% compared with the first auction held in 2015 and resulted in over 3GW of new generation.

The Clean Growth Strategy will look across the whole of the economy and the country. It includes ambitious proposals on housing, business, transport and the environment, as well as the power sector, BEIS said.

Industry body RenewableUK welcomed the announcement.

R-UK chief executive Hugh McNeal said: “This announcement secures cheap, home-grown, clean energy for the UK. 

“Greg Clark’s department is helping to build a world-leading offshore wind industry which can power a clean industrial revolution, creating new jobs and attracting billions of new investment.”

Renewable Energy Association (REA) head of policy and external affairs James Court called for support for all forms of renewable energy.

“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,” he said.

“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if the government don’t start supporting the industry and we will be left with a higher cost, higher carbon and out of date system that we will all end up paying for,” Court added.

Friends of the Earth backed REA’s call for government support for all forms of clean power.

Friends of the Earth renewables campaigner Alasdair Cameron said: “This welcome investment will help keep the UK at the forefront of the offshore wind revolution – but the government must show even greater ambition to fully develop the nation’s huge renewable energy potential.

“Investment in offshore wind is encouraging, but we must see more action on energy efficiency, electric vehicles and other renewables for the government’s clean growth strategy to really get to grips with the challenges and opportunities of tackling climate change.”

Image: BEIS (Steph Gray)