United Kingdom to provide £557m funding for new renewable energy projects

Turbines of the Burbo Bank offshore wind farm lay in the wake of a maintenance boat in the mouth of the River Mersey

"If it's serious about spreading growth across the country, while meeting decarbonisation goals, the government must take this issue seriously and give the North of England real powers to kickstart a local energy revolution". "It's as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and Britain is showing the way".

There are already more than 430,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains, and the low carbon economy could grow by 11% a year between 2015 and 2030 - faster than the rest of the economy, the Government said.

Its other recommendations include a new commitment to creating low carbon homes, and the creation of a new body called Energy for the North, which would oversee the strategy and take legal responsibility for cutting carbon emissions. "By focusing on Clean Growth, we can cut the cost of energy, drive economic prosperity, create high value jobs and improve our quality of life".

"With cost reduction recognised as an important part of the continued growth of our low-carbon energy system, it is startling that cheap, popular onshore wind and solar PV are excluded once again from plans for the UK's energy future", said Claire Mack, Scottish Renewables chief executive.

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.

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The news was welcomed by industry groups, especially those representing the "less established" technologies likely to compete for the next auction.

Energy Institute CEO, Louise Kingham, said: "The strategy is really important for the UK's standing on the global climate change stage, as we look to the next round of United Nations talks hosted by Fiji in Bonn next month".

"Offshore Wind Industry Council co-chair Benj Sykes said: "£557m for future CfD auctions provides certainty for the industry and the opportunity to build more innovative, low-priced renewable projects.

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 United Kingdom consumers". This unbelievable cost reduction is a reminder of what innovative industry can deliver when backed by competitive auctions.

"We have seen huge strides in delivering a clean power system, and it is right that we build on this progress, ensuring security, flexibility and cost-effectiveness in the system".

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