Prime Minister David Cameron has announced £60m of Government funding to establish world-class offshore wind manufacturing at ports.
Mr Cameron said the potential for Britain to lead the world in the offshore wind industry was “immense”, especially as thousands of turbines would be needed in the next decade.
The PM made the announcement in his speech to the CBI annual conference.
We need thousands of offshore turbines in the next decade and beyond, yet neither the factories nor these large port sites currently exist. And that, understandably, is putting off private investors. So we’re stepping in.
To help secure private sector investment in this technology, we’re providing up to £60 million to meet the needs of offshore wind infrastructure at our ports. And to help move things forward, the Crown Estate will also work with interested ports and manufacturers to realise the potential of their sites.
It’s a triple win. It will help secure our energy supplies, protect our planet and the Carbon Trust says it could create 70,000 jobs.
Mr Cameron added that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Crown Estate were working with ports and manufacturers to support the development of offshore wind manufacturing capacity.
Siemens, GE and Gamesa have already outlined proposals to open manufacturing plants at coastal locations in the UK. Gamesa have also announced that they will be opening an R&D facility and their global HQ in London.
Together, the investments by these companies could be worth over £300 million, and potentially create thousands of jobs both at the companies and through their supply chains. The investments will also help deliver the offshore wind capacity the UK will need to meet its renewable energy targets.
Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said:
There is more to do if we want to stay leaders in offshore wind. We want the jobs, manufacturing and skills base for this exciting new industry to be here in the UK, and we are taking decisions that attract investment.
We need world-class infrastructure to support our economic growth. So today we have made sure that even in the face of such pressure on public finances, we prioritise the areas that will help us dump the deficit.