By Kari Williamson
At a business conference in London, UK's Prime Minister David Cameron declared: “I see offshore wind as a significant energy and industrial opportunity for the UK, and one that I am determined to seize”. He added: “The Coalition Government strongly supports the growth of renewable energy to help diversify and de-carbonise our long term energy mix”.
Cameron urged investment funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds to join what he described as the UK’s renewable energy revolution by investing in large offshore wind projects. He assured delegates that “the UK will remain the world’s most attractive offshore wind market for many years to come, due to a world-leading marine engineering base”.
Cameron’s comments followed the publication of the National Infrastructure Plan, unveiled by the Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement in November, in which the Government announced its commitment to developing five Centres for Offshore Renewable Engineering. The centres will provide support for businesses seeking to invest in manufacturing for the renewable energy sector. They will be based in Humber, Tees, Tyne, Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth and Sheerness.
Furthermore, Energy Minister Charles Hendry has given consent to DONG Energy to construct a 245 MW offshore wind farm off the Yorkshire coast, creating 1000 jobs during its construction.
Dr Gordon Edge, RenewableUK’s Director of Policy, says: “The Government is sending out a strong message that it is committed to the development and deployment of renewable energy projects, and the industry’s supply chain to deliver them. The most senior figures at the highest level of Government are acknowledging the crucial role that renewable energy has to play in our economic development. The wind industry is creating jobs and generating wealth for the UK, as well as giving us energy security and helping us to meet our carbon reduction targets."