Aspiring green energy projects in Britain can now bid for a share of £285 million a year given in a Government scheme to support renewable energy.

Renewable energy projects can bid for funding in the latest round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which aims to secure 12GW of electricity capacity – the biggest amount in the scheme’s history which, from the funding alone, could generate enough electricity to power around eight million homes.

The scheme is open to a number of renewable energy technologies. Offshore and onshore wind, solar, tidal, and floating offshore wind projects to build the next generation of Britain’s green energy products are all eligible to bid for a chunk of the funding.

Between the scheme’s first round in 2015, and its third in 2019, it has led to the price per unit of offshore wind falling by 65%.

Cop26 backgroundersSolar panels in a field near Five Oaks, West Sussex (Steve Parsons/PA)

Under the scheme, £24 million has been set aside for floating offshore wind projects and £20 million for tidal stream projects.

Those working in offshore wind, emerging technologies and established technologies such as solar and onshore wind can also vie for a share.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Business and Energy Secretary, said: “Our biggest-ever renewables opening today will solidify the UK’s role as a world leader in renewable electricity while backing new, future-proof industries across the country to create new jobs.

“By generating more renewable energy in the UK, we can ensure greater energy independence by moving away from volatile global fossil fuel prices, all while driving down the cost of new energy.”

The Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Hands, said: “The Contracts for Difference scheme is proof that green and growth go hand-in-hand, as it continues to be a key driver behind the world-leading renewable energy sector that is providing us with secure clean energy, creating jobs across the UK and opening investment and export opportunities.

He added that the previous three rounds of the scheme have allowed a push forward with the “green industrial revolution”, which will continue “further and faster” with the latest round “while continuing to drive down costs for consumers”.

Neil McDermott, chief executive of Low Carbon Contracts Company, said: “The current CfD portfolio features projects located across the length and breadth of Great Britain, including some of the world’s largest offshore wind farms to date.

“We’ve seen the scheme’s impact on diversifying and increasing the investment needed to support vital new low-carbon power, and this year’s Cop26 only served to underline the critical timing of this round.

“We’ve learned a fantastic amount to date and we stand ready to support the ambitious infrastructure that will power the UK’s transition to net zero emissions by 2050, as well as protecting the long-term health of our environment, economies and societies.”