UK: Smart money for offshore wind ports

Government commended for taking on board industry concerns. ‘Green’ bank must be catalyst for investment.

RenewableUK, the country’s leading renewable energy association, commended two key green industry measures in today’s Budget: money for ports which service the UK’s burgeoning offshore wind power sector and the founding of a ‘Green’ bank, funding growth of renewable technologies.

The £60 million pledged for ‘development of port sites to support offshore wind turbines manufacturers’ has long been advocated by RenewableUK. It is expected to help put the UK on the map as a base for rolling out offshore wind energy developments in the North and Irish Seas, and offer alternatives to more established port facilities on the Continent.

Dr. Gordon Edge, RenewableUK Director of Economics and Markets, said: "RenewableUK has maintained that investment in ports at this stage will reap significant rewards in the future. We are pleased that the Government has taken this on board. This investment will enable the UK to compete with established ports in Europe involved in offshore wind farm deployment. It is smart money well pledged, as it will create a significant number of jobs by 2020 and help British businesses benefit from Round 3."

Edge furthered commented on the plans to form a ‘Green’ bank by saying that there is a lot of wind energy industry and environmental sector support for the idea.

"It is important, however, that any ‘Green’ bank is seen as a catalyst for wider investment. We need to attract substantial capital into the sector, from a wide base of potential lenders and investors. This bank needs to be one piece of the funding package, without taking away responsibility from other finance institutions."

RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with 594 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK. Wind has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source for the last seven years, and this trend is expected to continue with falling costs of wind energy and the urgent international need to tackle CO2 emissions to prevent climate change.

In 2004, RenewableUK expanded its mission to champion wave and tidal energy and use the Association’s experience to guide these technologies along the same path to commercialisation. Our primary purpose is to promote the use of wind, wave and tidal power in and around the UK. We act as a central point for information for our membership and as a lobbying group to promote wind energy and marine renewables to government, industry, the media and the public. We research and find solutions to current issues and generally act as the forum for the UK wind, wave and tidal industry, and have an annual turnover in excess of four million pounds.