I am pleased that the United Kingdom has been the first major economy to legislate for net zero carbon emissions and is succeeding in reducing these while creating high value jobs and growing the economy.
The development of renewable energy is already a tremendous UK success story, and thanks to significant investment and support, renewable capacity has quadrupled in the past decade. Over half of our power now comes from low carbon sources and the Government has sent clear signals to investors and businesses that our country is transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
While onshore wind farms play an important role in supporting our renewable needs, it is important to appreciate that they often fail to win public support. That is why it is right that more say has been given to local communities on where wind farms can be built, with the final say resting locally.
The Government has announced that the latest round of the Contracts for Difference scheme will be open to renewable technologies including onshore wind and solar, with proposals to include floating offshore wind. The scheme will also be changed to facilitate the deployment of energy storage. Local communities will have a more effective voice on developments that impact them, through proposals for tough new guidance on community engagement for developers of onshore wind across Great Britain.
Ultimately, it is right that support should be focused on technologies where it is most needed, which is why the Government announced in the Clean Growth Strategy that it would make up to £557 million of annual funding available for less established technologies including onshore wind projects on remote islands that directly benefit local communities.