Shadow Energy Minister Backs Onshore and Offshore Wind
The UK Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex has expressed his party’s support for onshore wind, saying a future Labour government would not curtail its deployment if elected next year. He said a “significant contribution” from onshore wind is needed to meet the UK’s decarbonisation objectives.
His comments contrast with those made by the Conservative party, which has announced that it would end all financial support for future onshore wind projects, leaving the technology stranded – a policy that Mr Greatrex referred to as “illogical”.
Speaking at RenewableUK’s Global Offshore Wind conference in Glasgow, the Shadow Minster also affirmed his strong support for offshore wind, stating “I would like to see as much offshore wind as it’s possible to do” as it is “very strongly placed to be an important part of the energy mix”.
In order to fulfil the UK’s clean energy ambitions, Mr Greatrex reaffirmed Labour’s commitment to setting a 2030 decarbonisation target, saying “it’s absolutely crucial in giving a sense of direction and clarity, to focus people’s efforts” and attract investment. He noted that the whole of the UK is benefitting from the expansion of the renewable energy sector as it is “creating skilled jobs outside the south east of the country”. He explained that “you get the supply chain by having the confidence for manufacturers to invest, which is why a 2030 decarbonisation objective is so important”.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Maria McCaffery said: “Mr Greatrex’s championing of a 2030 decarbonisation target chimes exactly with what the renewable energy sector is calling for to stimulate further investment by setting a clear direction of travel. He’s right to identify the importance of the supply chain here; our research shows that more than 80,000 people could be working in the onshore and offshore wind sectors by 2023 in direct and indirect full-time jobs. Mr Greatrex is also spot on in highlighting the fact that these jobs are being created in parts of the UK that need them most – for example Siemens and ABP will be employing 1,000 people in the Hull area working in the offshore wind manufacturing sector. Other companies are set to follow their lead, as UK offshore wind deployment is due to expand more than threefold by 2020.”