The previous UK Government pledged £60 million towards upgrading the infrastructure around ports to aid offshore wind farm manufacturing.
However this fund could now be scrapped as part of the Coalition’s Spending Review in October, warns RenewableUK which says this could mean the UK loses out on 50,000 new jobs.
Dr Gordon Edge, Director of Policy at RenewableUK, says: “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to become a world-leader in offshore wind but if we fail to capitalise on the lead we have in this sector, those jobs will be lost to rival countries already competing with us to attract offshore wind manufacturers.”
The campaign has received cross-party support from Charles Kennedy (former Liberal Democrat leader), Alan Whitehead (Labour MP) and Peter Aldous (Conservative MP), who are co-sponsoring an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons on the subject. Greenpeace has also joined the campaign for the UK offshore wind industry, raising awareness of the issue to its membership and encouraging activists to lobby their local MPs in affected areas.
The UK currently has more offshore wind installed, in construction and planned than any other country in the world. The industry estimates that by 2030 we could have nearly 50 GW of installed offshore wind capacity - the equivalent of more than half of the UK’s current annual electricity consumption.