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Solar industry welcomes ambition of Government renewables auctions

Solar Energy UK
Immediate release

Solar Energy UK welcomes the confirmation that solar power will be included in the latest round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme. 

Solar power will be eligible to compete for up to 3.5GW of electricity generation capacity in the key renewable energy auction, due to take place in December 2021. Solar’s inclusion reflects analysis in Solar Energy UK’s Lighting the way report, which details the contribution CfDs and solar power can make to the UK’s climate change targets. 

Solar Energy UK Chief Executive said: “This will give a further boost to solar in the UK, which has already built 730MW of solar energy projects in the last 12 months. There are over 4GW of projects that will be eligible to bid for these contracts.” 

Adding: “The UK needs to triple its solar capacity to 40GW by 2030 to stay on track for its own carbon targets, so we welcome this level of ambition from the Government. This commitment needs to be sustained and extended to rooftop solar, to create another 13,000 new green jobs.” 

The CfD system provides stability for investors in clean electricity projects, ensuring that consumers get the best possible price for grid-scale low-carbon power. Winning bids secure a fixed-price contract for electricity. Solar is included in ‘Pot 1’ of the auction for onshore renewable power technologies. These include solar, onshore wind and hydropower. Bids in Pot 1 are expected to come in under the market price for fossil fuel power, meaning they will not require any government support. 

The inclusion of solar as an established technology in the auction reflects the significant decline in the cost of solar power over the last ten years, with government research suggesting solar is one of the cheapest forms of large-scale power generation in the UK. More than 18GW of projects are in the solar pipeline, which will deliver affordable, zero-carbon electricity to support the UK’s energy transition.