Maria McCaffery, BWEA Chief Executive, says: “[The] announcement... sets the UK apart as the leading offshore wind energy producer not only in Europe but worldwide both in terms of total potential power generation from offshore, and the scale of new, green-collar employment opportunity.
“Despite the UK’s lead in offshore wind energy generation the UK currently trails behind other leading wind energy producing countries – particularly Germany, Denmark and Spain – in manufacturing, design and supply chain jobs. Key to securing thousands of new skilled green-collar jobs is attracting new investment in offshore wind technology manufacturing to the UK.”
She says that the UK government must take a lead through upgrading of UK ports, provide quayside facilities and create costal manufacturing and research hubs to enable more offshore wind turbine production in the UK.
In addition, upgrades to the UK’s electricity grid will be required if it is to be able to transport the power from the offshore wind farms.
McCaffery adds: “We need to ensure the UK also benefits through a boost in manufacturing, engineering and skills: but this will only happen if additional action is taken by the Government through working actively to create coastal manufacturing hubs. This will encourage wind energy manufacturing companies to locate in the UK and enable British businesses to take full advantage of the supply chain opportunities, for the benefit of jobs and the UK economy as well as Britain’s energy security.”