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Government greenlights extension to offshore wind farm subsidies

Jessica Morris
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Burbo Bank Wind Farm Now Fully Operational
Former chancellor George Osborne's March budget stipulated that an extra £730m will be earmarked for offshore windfarms (Source: Getty)

The government has approved an extension to millions of pounds worth of subsidies for offshore wind farms, enabling projects to be sponsored beyond the current cut-off of 2020.

Whitehall said today that its Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme will now cover projects for delivery to 31 March 2026. It encourages renewables generation by paying companies a fixed income for each kilowatt hour of clean electricity they produce.

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The announcement comes after a five-week consultation by the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which was recently created when Prime Minister Theresa May merged the energy and business departments.

BEIS said: "The results of our recent government consultation supported the proposed amendment to the CfD (allocation) regulations (2014) to extend the delivery years in which budget can be allocated to end March 2026, in order to run future allocation rounds and it is our intention to make the amendment."

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Former chancellor George Osborne's March budget stipulated that an extra £730m will be earmarked for offshore wind farms and "less established" renewable technologies — twice that put into the first CfD auction.

Osborne said that support for offshore wind would be capped initially at £105 megawatt hours in 2011-12 prices, before falling to £85 megawatt hours for projects commissioned by 2026.

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