UK releases Clean Growth Strategy, plans next CfD auction

By Erin Voegele | October 12, 2017

On Oct. 12, the U.K. government released its Clean Growth Strategy, which aims to cut carbon emissions while driving economic growth. As part of the announcement, the government confirmed up to £557 million ($738.91 million) for the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction, which is planned for the spring of 2019.

According to the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Clean Growth Strategy builds on progress made by the country to date. The BEIS said carbon emissions in the U.K. have fallen and national income has risen faster and further than any other nation in the G7 since 1990. Emissions are down by 42 percent, while the economy has grown by 67 percent.

The new Clean Growth Strategy sets out how more than £2.5 billion will be invested to support low carbon innovation from 2015 to 2021. It includes increased public spending, research and innovation and covers programs delivering low carbon energy, transport, agriculture and waste.

The £2.5 billion of existing government spending includes up to £505 million from the BEIS’s Energy Innovation Program, which aims to accelerate the commercialization of innovative clean energy technologies and progresses. Of that £505 million, up to £10 million is slated for innovations that provide low carbon heat in domestic and commercial buildings. In addition, up to £20 million will be used to demonstrate the viability of switching to low carbon fuels for industry.

Other components of the 165-page plan indicate the government plans to end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, phase out the use of unabated coal to produce electricity by 2025, and develop new offshore wind and nuclear energy projects. The Clean Growth Strategy also discusses the long-term potential of bioenergy projects paired with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

On day prior to the release of the Clean Growth Strategy, the BEIS confirmed that up to £557 million will be available to support less established renewable electricity projects during the next CfD auction, currently planned for the spring of 2019. Technologies categorized as “less established” in CfD regulations include offshore wind; advanced conversion technologies, with or without combined-heat-and-power (CHP); anaerobic digestion, with or without CHP; dedicated biomass with CHP; wave; tidal stream; and geothermal, with or without CHP.

A full copy of the Clean Growth Strategy can be downloaded from the BEIS website.