Renewable energy projects supported by government

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Posted by APM on 22nd May 2014

Wind farmBritain is taking steps towards cleaner and more secure power with the announcement of eight major renewable energy projects.

The UK government has agreed to financially support five offshore wind farms and three biomass projects, and has said theyre worth up to 12bn in private sector investment. As reported by The Guardian, the wind farms will add 4.5GW of electricity capacity to the national grid, which is enough to power more than three million homes.

The offshore wind projects include Dong Energys 250MW Burbo Bank extension in Liverpool Bay, a consortium-backed 1.2GW wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire, Statoil /Statkrafts 400MW Dudgeon off the coast of Norfolk, the 664MW Beatrice wind farm in the Outer Moray Firth in Scotland, and Dong Energys 660MW extension off the coast of Cumbria 1.7m.

Energy and climate secretary Ed Davey said: These contracts for major renewable electricity projects mark a new stage in Britains green energy investment boom. By themselves they will bring green jobs and growth across the UK, but they are a significant part of our efforts to give Britain cleaner and more secure energy.

The agreements are part of a transition to a new subsidy regime with the old one being phased out in 2017 and are known as investment contracts. They are an early form of the new contracts for difference, which offer low-carbon generators a guaranteed price for their electricity.

Lynemouth Power Station in Northumberland and MGTs Teesside plan in Middleborough have been granted biomass projects. Drax in North Yorkshire has also been given the go-ahead to convert on part of Britains biggest coal power plant. However, the conversion of a second unit was turned down which has led to Drax announcing legal proceedings against the government.

Dorothy Thompson, chief executive of Drax, said: "Sustainable biomass provides a very reliable, flexible and cost effective renewable power source for the UK consumer."

Oliver Munnion, a campaigner at the group Biofuelwatch, said: Even after the conversion theyll be burning some 3.7 million tonnes of coal every year from opencast mines in the UK and imported from places like Colombia, where communities have been forced off their land for expanding mines. Biomass isn't about renewable energy, it's about keeping old, polluting power stations running, when they should be closing down.

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