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LEP Welcomes Prime Minister’s Pledge on Offshore Wind Energy

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to make the UK a world leader in the production of offshore wind energy.

In his speech to the virtual Conservative Party conference the Prime Minister said offshore wind will power a green recovery for the UK and aimed to provide every household in the UK with electricity sourced from offshore wind power by 2030.

He promised to increase offshore wind energy production to 40GW by 2030 – a 33% increase on the target set out in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal.

£160 million will be made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure across northern England, Scotland and Wales to hugely increase our offshore wind capacity, which is already the largest in the world and currently meets 10 per cent of our electricity demand.

Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “Greater Lincolnshire is already at the forefront of the growing offshore wind energy revolution and its supply chain, with thousands of jobs being created.

“Grimsby is home to the UK’s largest cluster of operations and maintenance for the sector and the whole area has real opportunities for a decarbonisation sector, enhanced today by the £75m Zero Carbon Humber proposal to Government by 12 of the largest businesses in the Humber region.

“The Prime Minister’s announcement is a welcome further boost for offshore wind energy production in the Humber estuary region, which is ripe for significant development in terms of freeports, Enterprise Zones and further growth in offshore wind energy, operations and maintenance, and manufacturing.

“Working with the Midlands Engine and the private sector we have significant ambitions to further develop this sector into a globally competitive sector in northern Lincolnshire and beyond. This has been evidenced by our financial support for Able Marine Energy Park, which is set to play an increasingly important role in the offshore wind energy revolution.

“As we navigate a path to a stronger economy post-Covid it’s vital that we support investment, innovation and job creation in new, greener and cleaner technologies and help the Government to achieve its target of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Councillor Rob Waltham MBE, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The confidence from Government in this region is again clear to see and I welcome this commitment to levelling up across the regions.

“This latest announcement follows quickly from one of the world’s leading steel pipe manufacturers, SeAH, signing a memorandum of understanding with ABLE UK.

“This combination of public and private-sector investment will be critical to renewing and redeveloping the economy as we move forward. High-skilled, sustainable jobs will be created and prosperity will only increase further.”

Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said:

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to green energy in his speech yesterday. Grimsby is a world leader in the development of operations and maintenance facilities for the offshore windfarms in the southern North Sea with the global giants Orsted and RWE choosing to base themselves here.

“Not only that, but the recent investment by the ORE Catapult in a Centre of Excellence at our port confirms our key credentials. Our access to those offshore sites is unparalleled, and as demand for green energy increases, we know we have the facilities to grow further as part of the Energy Estuary.”

Duncan Clark, Head of UK Region for Ørsted, one of the largest wind energy operators in the North Sea, said: “We welcome today’s announcement from the Government which will unlock huge opportunities for world-class UK supply chain companies, both domestically and overseas, to market the skills and innovative technologies that have been fostered in the UK offshore wind industry.

“Offshore wind is the most cost-effective way to achieve the UK’s net zero ambitions, and delivering 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 is an essential part of this roadmap. This is a challenging target but achievable if Government and the industry continue to work together to accelerate deployment and build out the UK project pipeline as quickly as possible, regenerating coastal communities while expediting our progress to a more sustainable, low-carbon future.”

In his speech yesterday the Prime Minister made a number of commitments, including:

  • confirming offshore wind will produce more than enough electricity to power every home in the country by 2030, based on current electricity usage, boosting the government’s previous 30GW target to 40GW.
  • creating a new target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1GW of energy by 2030, which is over 15 times the current volumes worldwide. Building on the strengths of the North Sea, this new technology allows wind farms to be built further out to sea in deeper waters, boosting capacity even further where winds are strongest and ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of the next generation of clean energy.
  • setting a target to support up to double the capacity of renewable energy in the next Contracts for Difference auction, which will open in late 2021, providing enough clean, low-cost energy to power up to 10 million homes.

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