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Gov’t publishes long-term strategy for offshore wind industry

The government has collaborated with businesses to build a strategy designed to improve the UK’s offshore wind industry

It is hoped the strategy will unlock £7 billion of investment in the UK economy and create 30,000 jobs across the country.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg commented: “The race is now on to lead the world in clean, green energy.

“As an island nation, and with our weather, the UK is ideally placed to make the most of offshore wind energy – you could say it was a technology designed for us.”

Long-term wind energy strategy

Part of the government’s long-term wind energy strategy is a £20 million investment from the Regional Growth Fund for GROW: Offshore Wind. The latter is a new Manufacturing Advisory Service programme aimed at helping the UK’s supply chain become more competitive by offering specialist support.

Another facet of the scheme will see the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Centre receive £46 million in funding over five years. The investment will be used to unite the industry, the government and academia and encourage the development of innovative new products.

In addition, the scope of DECC’s offshore wind manufacturing funding scheme will be expanded in order to support port and coastal infrastructure development in select areas of England.

Clegg unveils new wind farm

The politician announced the plans as he officially opened a new wind farm that will see the UK’s total offshore wind capacity soar past the 10GW mark.  The country already produces more offshore wind power than the rest of the world combined.

Clegg added that by making the most of its offshore wind potential the UK could produce a significant proportion of the energy that lights homes and powers the economy. This could offer a green way to combat the UK’s energy crisis, which experts have warned could see blackouts in as little as two years.

Green programmes linked to rising bills

Consumers may have some concerns, however, as green energy has recently been linked to a hike in energy prices.

npower recently stated the main reason for the rise in electricity bills – which the company expects to hit £1,487 by the year 2020 – is the cost of green government initiatives such as the ECO scheme. ECO creates a legal obligation for energy suppliers to help improve energy efficiency in households across the UK by upgrading insulation and heating systems.

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