UK: Wind Energy Industry gets heavyweight political backing

RenewableUK, the trade association representing wind power, wave energy and tidal energy industries, has welcomed comments by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the new Energy Secretary Ed Davey providing strong backing for wind energy.

They were responding to a letter written to the Prime Minister by a group of backbench MPs which questioned the economic value of onshore wind farm. Downing Street issued a rebuttal of the letter on Sunday stating: "We need a low carbon infrastructure and onshore wind farm is a cost effective and valuable part of the diverse energy mix".

Today, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, offered more support for the wind power industry, saying: "The race is on to lead the world in clean, green energy. The choice for the UK is simple: wake up, or end up playing catch up. Low-carbon markets are the next frontier in the battle for global pre-eminence. We have every reason to be confident. The combination of enviable wind turbines, wave energy and tidal power, a world-beating research base and a proud history of engineering give the UK a clear competitive edge".

Speaking about his new role, the Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, said: "There will be no change in direction or ambition. I have long believed in the need to marry our economic and environmental agendas. Greening the economy isn’t just good for the planet – it’s good for the wallets, purses and pockets. My priorities are very simple: green jobs, green growth and getting the best deal for energy bill payers".

Welcoming their comments, RenewableUK Chief Executive Maria McCaffery said: "This is a strong vote of confidence in the renewables sector from the Deputy Prime Minister and the new Energy Secretary. It follows a clear statement backing onshore wind from Downing Street. Those at the heart of the Coalition Government are standing shoulder to shoulder with the wind industry, because they’re well aware that we can deliver a secure supply of low-carbon energy to millions of homes, as well as creating tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs over this decade".

The job creation potential of the sector was highlighted by the Energy Minister Charles Hendry at today’s meeting of the Offshore Wind Developers’ Forum, where the participants confirmed their vision that UK firms should provide more than 50% of the content of the country’s future wind farms.