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The amount of offshore wind in the UK is set to nearly double in the next decade after the Government confirmed support for the industry. Under Government energy plans, between one-fifth and one-third of Britain's power is set to be generated by offshore wind turbines by 2030.
The UK has cut costs for consumers with a system that forces firms to bid for financial support in auctions.
Energy minister Claire Perry confirmed on Monday that auctions would be held every two years to give the industry the stability it needed to continue to build the huge structures that tower over the waves.
“The UK renewables sector is thriving, with more offshore wind capacity here than anywhere else in the world and 50% of electricity coming from low-carbon sources last year in what was our greenest year ever, said Perry.
The contract auctions are planned to be held from next May until the 2020s to award the 557 million pounds (about US$730 million) that they have set aside to support the lowest cost offshore wind projects.
The auction process pushed firms to become more transparent about the amount of support they need, boosting jobs and cutting costs for consumers at the same time. This system is considered as the most responsible for the development of clean energy in the UK.
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"This sets us on the path to deliver the tens of billions of pounds of investment that will be needed to meet our ambition of at least 30GW by 2030," said Industry body RenewableUK's chief executive, Hugh McNeal. "We can look forward to a pipeline of new offshore wind projects that will support tens of thousands of jobs across the UK."
Thanks to plummeting costs, offshore wind has become an increasingly affordable source of clean energy.
The support for offshore wind was welcomed by Greenpeace, but the environmental group called on the government to support other cheap forms of renewables including onshore wind and solar power, calling into question the government's continuing support for nuclear power.
By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com
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Damir Kaletovic is an award-winning investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker and expert on Southeastern Europe whose work appears on behalf of Oilprice.com and several other news…