In an outspoken attack on “green economy deniers”, The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP will today put the spotlight on the economic benefits to Britain of investing in green energy.
He will point to more than a hundred announcements in this financial year alone that add up to almost £1.7billion in renewable energy investment and over 9,000 jobs in regions the length and breadth of the UK.
Speaking at an annual conference of the renewables industry, Huhne will attack what he calls “an unholy alliance of short-termists, armchair engineers, climate sceptics and vested interests who are selling the UK economy short”.
The Energy Secretary will say:
“Renewable energy technologies will deliver a third industrial revolution. Its impact will be every bit as profound as the first two.
“The revolution has already begun, from the Western Isles to the Isle of Wight. Across the length and breadth of Britain, new companies are creating new jobs and delivering the technologies that will power our future.
“At a time when closures and cuts dominate the news cycle, next-generation industries are providing jobs and sinking capital into Britain.
“I want to take aim at the curmudgeons and faultfinders who hold forth on the impossibility of renewables - the climate sceptics and armchair engineers who are selling Britain’s ingenuity short.
“Yes, climate change is a manmade disaster. Yes, the UK is only 2% of global carbon emissions. But if we grasp the opportunity now our businesses and economy can be much more than 2% of the solution.
“We are not going to save our economy by turning our back on renewable energy.
“It is this three-party consensus that makes the UK such a good place to invest.
“So I can today assure you that this government has resolved that we will be the largest market in Europe for offshore wind.”
Notes for editors
- The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP’s speech to the Renewables UK annual conference
- Last week the Government launched a consultation on support levels for renewable electricity technologies under the Renewables Obligation from 2013-17.
- The Government published its Renewable Energy Roadmap in July 2011, setting out a clear commitment to renewable energy to 2020 and beyond.
- Renewable energy and jobs map