October 12 (Renewables Now) - The UK government today released its Clean Growth Strategy, a plan to cut emissions, while delivering economic growth, including policies and proposals on transport, power, housing, business and the environment.
The measures include up to GBP 557 million (USD 738m/EUR 622m) of funding for future contract for difference (CfD) auctions for less established renewables such as offshore wind that was announced yesterday. The next round is planned for spring 2019.
The government will also work with the industry to develop a Sector Deal for offshore wind, which could lead to 10 GW of new capacity in the 2020s with potential for more if this is cost effective, according to the document.
RenewableUK, which speaks for the wind and marine renewables industries, welcomed the strategy and the commitment to the development of a Sector Deal for offshore wind, but said that "what’s missing is clarity on how the lowest-cost technology, onshore wind, can deliver for UK consumers." With respect to wave, tidal stream and tidal range technologies, the strategy says that they could also have a role in the UK's decarbonisation, but will need to demonstrate how they can compete with other forms of generation.
The Solar Trade Association (STA) said that while the large cost reductions in solar are cited several times in the strategy, there are no explicit new measures to spur deployment which has plunged. "It does seem extraordinary that when a technology as vital to the world’s future as solar is asking, not for any new public support, but for simply a level playing field with other technologies, the Government is not moving to respond," said STA policy manager Chris Hewett.
Low-carbon innovation is at the heart of the government's approach, climate change and industry minister Claire Perry said in a written statement to parliament. The strategy sets out how the government will invest GBP 2.5 billion in low-carbon innovation in the 2015-2021 period, across energy, transport, agriculture and waste.
"This government has put clean growth at the heart of its Industrial Strategy to increase productivity, boost people’s earning power and ensure Britain continues to lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change," said business and energy secretary Greg Clark.
(GBP 1 = USD 1.325/EUR 1.116)