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New funding puts UK renewables ‘ahead of the game’

1007959_wind_turbine1Energy and Climate Change Minister Mike O’Brien this week announced the availability of up to £10 million for developing the next generation of offshore wind technology.

“Renewable energy is a weapon in our armoury to secure future energy supplies, reduce our reliance on foreign imports, and help tackle climate change,” O’Brien said. “That’s why we’re taking the right long term decisions to encourage the massive investment in renewables that we need to see. This includes changing the planning laws, increased financial support, and ensuring sufficient access to the grid.”

Starting today, a new regime comes into place that gives offshore wind development 50 percent extra financial support through the government’s Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme. The RO scheme will now be “banded” to provide greater levels of support to emerging technologies that are further from commercial deployment, rather than providing a flat rate of support to renewables across the board.

Officials say banding will provide greater incentives to develop renewables such as offshore wind. Since 2002, the UK has seen its amount of renewably-generated electricity nearly treble from 1.8 percent to 4.7 percent (as of 2007).

“This week’s ramping up of financial backing in favour of technologies such as offshore wind is evidence of our determination to create the right investment environment for renewables,” O’Brien said. “And the funding being made available in the next few months will put the UK ahead of the game for the next generation of offshore technologies.”

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