Carbon Diary: ‘Active industry’ policy delivers green jobs
Mitsubishi’s decision to build a £100m offshore wind turbine facility in the North East, with up to £30 million in Government support, promises at least new 200 highly skilled jobs. We were promised an active industrial strategy, and that’s what we’re getting. Mandelson and Miliband are jointly behind a flow of Government-backed initiatives supporting the rebirth of wind turbine manufacture in the UK, following the huge Vestas setback just a few months ago.
- The Clipper Windpower factory in Newcastle upon Tyne, which will be home to the largest wind turbine blade in the world.
- New Government funding of £18.5 million for an offshore wind test site in the North East of England. The site, off the coast near the New and Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in Blyth, will act as a technology demonstration and development platform for the next generation of large multi-megawatt offshore wind turbines.
- Engineering firm Mabey Bridge to invest £38m in a Chepstow-based factory to build and paint wind turbine towers. The investment is expected to create 240 new skilled jobs in Monmouthshire. However, BWEA Cymru warned that the success of renewable technology manufacturing in Wales depends on onshore wind farms gaining planning permission.
Wind energy presents a significant opportunity for the UK economy, leading to between 60,000 and 70,000 new jobs by 2020. The potential 40+ gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind alone could supply over a third of our country’s electricity. On- and offshore wind is set to contribute up to half of the UK’s domestic electricity requirement by 2020, dramatically reducing our dependency on imported fossil fuels and displacing millions of tonnes of harmful CO2 every year.