Coalition MP Expresses Support to North East Offshore Wind Industry (UK)
Redcar MP Ian Swales has expressed the Coalition Government’s commitment to the offshore wind industry.
The Liberal Democrat MP met with Alex Dawson, Chairman of Energi Coast, close to the new Teesside Wind Farm ahead of the Government’s new Energy Bill, which is expected to be published before the end of November.
Ian Swales MP said: “The Coalition believes that offshore wind has an extremely important role in our future. Wind is an enormous resource around the UK. Having wind farms offshore, like the one in Redcar, will provide lots of electricity for the future and we’ll see some giant wind farms being built, like the one on Dogger Bank, which is proposed to be around the size of Wales. It’s going to generate enormous amounts of electricity and will lead to greater security and much lower use of fossil fuels.
“The Government can create greater confidence in the offshore wind sector by supporting those companies that want to invest and the Regional Growth Fund and other mechanisms are being used to make sure we’ve got a supply chain that’s works for the sector and also guaranteeing the returns to those who invest in the sector. The Renewable Obligation Certificate is a great system for ensuring that those who do invest in the sector get the returns that they expect.
“I think it’s very important that UK companies get involved in the construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms. We have about a third of Europe’s wind energy around the shores of the UK. We should be leaders in this industry and certainly the North East is well placed to build on its strengths that is already has in the offshore area and to be a leading player in the construction and maintenance of future wind farms.”
He added: “The offshore wind farm in Redcar is really important for both the skills that can be grown through this project and the jobs. There will be a substation employing people along the coast and what we want to do is build the skills to both build and maintain the offshore wind industry and have Redcar and the rest of the Tees as a centre for the future.”
Alex Dawson, Chairman of Energi Coast said: “We need to see a change of what has been 80 percent imported work in the sector becoming 80 percent of work produced in the UK. Within the North East it’s disappointing to see that many developments are going ahead without UK businesses involved. Energi Coast companies have invested £400m in new vessels, new plants, cable installation equipment and those industries need to be used for the benefit of the UK.”
Press release, November 14, 2012; Image: Energi Coast