Energy Minister sets out plans to make UK world leader in green energy
Energy Minister Graham Stuart says offshore wind is “a major British success story” which will expand growth and jobs. Red tape in the planning system is being reformed to capture more North Sea wind power, he added.
Mr Stuart said: “This will be great for bill payers, for the planet, but also for our economy.”
The new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero wants to have some of the cheapest wholesale electricity prices in Europe.
The minister said: “We will do this by making the most of our position as world leaders in renewables and nuclear technology, as well as our vital oil and gas sector.
“This will ensure we can increase our energy independence and power Britain from Britain.
“It will help us bring industries back to our own shores and unlock growth and jobs.”
The former trade minister went to the Danish port town of Esbjerg and saw “shared potential for home-grown energy first hand”.
Dennis Jul Pedersen, CEO of the port, said Denmark and the UK have a “key mutual interest” in offshore wind, adding: “There are many people who say we wouldn’t have a mature offshore wind industry if we didn’t have all these projects matured in the UK.”
Britain has a target of 50 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030, up from almost 14 now.
A poll for think tank Autonomy showed that 88 per cent of local councillors think the Government should prioritise investment for offshore wind turbines.
Alethea Warrington, campaigner at climate charity Possible, said: “It’s not just our climate that is suffering from the failure to get off dirty gas, but also our economy, businesses and communities.”
And the green transition is a major opportunity to retrain workers to meet the demands of the renewables sector.
Chris Berridge, global head of ports and harbour services at Siemens Gamesa, said finding people to meet the needs of the growing industry was a challenge.
He said: “As an industry, we’ve struggled because we’re all competing for the same people. And there is a limited number of people that are available.”
Danish firm Polytech, a supplier of wind turbine blade protection equipment, employs hundreds in its advanced engineering division, test centres and production sites. Chief executive Mads Kirkegaard said: “Electrification of society is creating whole new industries.”
Painting wind turbines black and white could protect birds from bumping into them, says Natural England. The high contrast would help them stand out against a cloudy or sunny sky.
A recent study found that painting one blade black on four turbines in Norway slashed accidents by 70 per cent.
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