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New scheme will see businesses bid for a share of £290m to support clean energy

A new scheme will see businesses bid for a share of £290m to support clean energy in the UK, something small businesses are keen to see.
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Renewable energy developers will compete for £290m worth of contracts to support the growth of clean energy in the UK, following the launch of the second Contracts for Difference auction earlier this week.

Contracts for Difference guarantee the companies a certain price for the low-carbon clean energy electricity produced over 15 years, which gives each the certainty needed to attract investment.

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“This auction underlines that Britain is open for business to companies seeking to invest in low carbon energy,” said energy minister Jesse Norman said.

“It is designed to deliver clean power to a million homes, create jobs in the energy industry and provide new supply chain opportunities, while reducing carbon emissions by some 2.5m tonnes per year.”

The auction process will draw to a close by autumn, when the winners and final clearing prices will be announced.
There has been £52bn of investment in renewable energy in the UK since 2010, and half of the country’s electricity came from low carbon sources in Q3 2016.

This is good news for ethically-minded businesses, as there is a growing demand for clean energy. According to a recent report by Haven Power, more than seven out of ten SMEs owners would like their energy supplier to be more committed to supporting renewable energy.

In fact, 26 per cent of small businesses surveyed are looking for suppliers that have renewable, clean energy offerings. However, only 21 per cent of respondents claimed that their supplier is “completely committed” to renewables.

Joseph Edwards, founder of cleaning company Gleem, has made environmentally friendly credentials one of his top priorities when he chooses suppliers.

“We’ll always be affiliated with businesses that have a similar moral compass, so environmental responsibility is extremely important,” he said.

“The next thing we’d look at would probably be a fair price, but at the same time customer service really comes in to it.”
The Contracts for Difference scheme is funded through a levy which forms a part of energy bills and only projects that offer the best value for money will win contracts.

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About Author

Letitia Booty

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Real Business. She has a BA in english literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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