Eight major renewable electricity projects have now signed the first contracts under the Government’s electricity market reforms. These projects will provide up to £12 billion of private sector investment, supporting 8,500 jobs by 2020.
The government is committed to working actively with project developers to avoid delays to projects whilst enduring Electricity Market Reform (EMR) is being put in place. These contracts, awarded under the Final Investment Decision Enabling for Renewables process, will enable developers of renewable electricity projects to take final or other critical investment decisions, directly impacting on the time to commissioning their project.
These projects include offshore windfarms, coal to biomass conversion plants and dedicated biomass plants with combined heat and power, and together represent:
- additional renewables capacity of approximately 4.5 GW;
- around 15TWh or 14% of the renewable electricity we expect to come forward by 2020; and
- a reduction of about 10MtCO2 from the UK power sector per annum compared to fossil fuel generation.
We have put in place a framework of sustainability criteria and reporting requirements for biomass which covers these projects. These will ensure that we only provide support for biomass plants which meet the appropriate legal requirements for low carbon generation.
These contracts are just one of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) measures designed to ensure a reliable, diverse and low-carbon power market. DECC has robust plans to deal with security of supply, working jointly with National Grid and the energy regulator Ofgem.
I am grateful to all applicants for their participation in the FID Enabling for Renewables process. The level of interest in the process demonstrates industry support for EMR and the healthiness of the renewables sector in the UK.
The signed contracts were yesterday laid in both Houses.