Ed Davey
Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said "record levels" of energy investment are at the forefront of the government's infrastructure programmeReuters

The UK government has unveiled eight major renewable electricity projects supporting 8,500 jobs by 2020.

The Department for Energy said the projects will provide up to £12bn ($20bn, €14bn) of private sector investment and they could add a further 4.5GW of low-carbon electricity to Britain's energy mix (or around 4% of capacity) – generating enough clean electricity to power more than three million homes.

The government said the projects will contribute around 15TWh or 14% of the renewable electricity we expect to come forward by 2020.

"Record levels of energy investment are at the forefront of the government's infrastructure programme and are filling the massive gap we inherited," said Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary.

"It's practical reforms like these that will keep the lights on and tackle climate change, by giving investors more certainty."

The government also claimed they will also reduce emissions by 10 MtCO2 per year compared to fossil fuel power generation.

The projects have been offered under Contracts for Difference (CfD), which form part of the government's Electricity Market Reform programme.

They include offshore wind farms, coal to biomass conversions and a dedicated biomass plant with combined heat and power.