Eight new renewable energy projects including offshore wind farms and biomass plants received government contracts

Deals for new biomass and wind projects signed

Eight new renewable energy projects promising to create 8,500 jobs and attract £12bn of investment have received Government contracts.

The projects, said to power more than three million homes by producing 4.5GW of electricity, include extensions of offshore wind farms in Liverpool Bay and Walney in the Irish Sea, and new wind installations in Outer Moray in Firth, Scotland, Dudgeon in the Wash, Cromer in Norfolk and Hornsea 1 in the North Sea off the Yorkshire coast.

Biomass conversion power stations in Drax, North Yorkshire, Lynemouth in Ashington, Northumberland, and Teesside in Middlesbrough will also receive funding.

Speaking about the projects on BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, Energy Secretary Ed Davy said the ventures will help secure UK’s energy mix against the impacts of the Ukrainian crisis.

"What you're getting, actually, is secure energy, because this is home-grown energy, particularly with the large five offshore wind farms," he said.
"You are also getting clean energy because we've seen, with the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, the costs of climate change could be huge if we don't tackle our carbon emissions.”

The projects will each be awarded one of the Government's Contracts for Difference, which will effectively guarantee prices at which suppliers sell energy.

The move is expected to increase household bills by 2 per cent. However, Davey insisted that the increase should not be seen in isolation and the overall impact of Government policy would bring energy bills down.

The Liberal Democrat minister also confirmed that the Government was looking at changing trespass laws to give companies the right to carry out fracking under private land.

Asked whether such a provision could be included in June's Queen's Speech, Mr Davey told the programme: "The real issue is the fracking process. It's something we are looking at. It is possible already under existing law to go to the courts to get permission.

"We are looking at the what are called access rights, not just for shale gas fracking but also for geothermal, because if you are going deep down in the ground, these are very deep depths, a mile underground in some cases, and you're then going horizontally under a number of landowners' land.

"The question for both geothermal and shale gas is what is the way to make sure those landowners are compensated and those projects can go ahead."

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