Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021

Green Britain: Government launches a major new £95 million offshore wind investment scheme

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It is the first major step in the Prime Minister’s green pledge to provide enough energy from offshore wind to power every home in the UK by 2030. Able Marine Energy Park, on the South Bank of the River Humber, will receive up to £75 million of the government investment. Teesworks Offshore Manufacturing Centre, on the River Tees, will benefit from up to £20 million.

Construction will begin later this year to upgrade the two ports with new infrastructure. 

The new ports will have the capacity to house up to seven manufacturers to support the development of the next-generation offshore wind projects, substantially boosting the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing base while directly creating around 3,000 new jobs each.

GE Renewable Energy will build a new state-of-the-art offshore wind blade manufacturing factory at the site, which will directly create around 750 of the 3,000 jobs created by the Teesside port and approximately 1,500 indirect jobs in the area.

Mr Johnson said: “During the Industrial Revolution over 200 years ago, wind-powered the sails of ships from the Humber and Teesside trading goods around the world.

“Now the Humber and Teesside will put the wind in the sails of our new green industrial revolution, building the next generation of offshore wind turbines whilst creating 6,000 new green jobs in the process.

“Our multi-million-pound investment in these historic coastal communities is a major step towards producing the clean, cheap energy we need to power our homes and economy without damaging the environment.”

The government funding will be provided through the £160million investment to upgrade port infrastructure and support manufacturing announced by the Prime Minister last October.

Once complete, the two ports will have the capacity to support the development of up to 9GW of energy offshore wind projects each year – enough electricity to power around 8 million homes.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The offshore wind sector is a major British industrial success story, providing cheap, green electricity while supporting thousands of good-quality jobs. While the UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, we are determined to ensure we are fully capturing the economic benefits in this country.

“To ensure our businesses, supply chain and high-skilled workforce can fully share in the sector’s success, today’s investment in the Humber region and Teesside will put the UK in pole position to land new offshore wind investors. In the process it will ramp up our domestic manufacturing base and create thousands of good jobs in our industrial heartlands.”

Peter Stephenson, the Executive Chairman of the Able Group said: “The Government has set clear policies that provide the offshore wind sector with far greater certainty and market visibility. At the same time, the sector itself has responded with remarkable innovations and cost reductions which now see it successfully competing with other energy sources.
“We will seek to maximise the benefits, locally and nationally, through increased UK content, new jobs and new opportunities for local businesses.”

Rebecca Newsom, the head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said: “This is a welcome step in expanding capacity in offshore wind manufacturing, a renewable technology that many countries are now piling into.

“Supply chain investment like this will be vital in delivering renewables at the speed and scale needed to tackle the climate crisis and in ensuring our coastal communities aren’t left behind in the UK’s energy transition.

“This must now be replicated across the country to build up a thriving green energy sector that creates jobs within the UK, so that workers in the fossil fuel industry can smoothly move across to the renewable jobs of the future.

“Freeports might be helpful in generating investment, but this must not lead to a drop in environmental standards or poorer working conditions.”

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