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New Energy Minister Greg Hands says offshore wind is lynchpin in reaching net zero

Greg Hands MP, Energy and Climate Change Minister. Image courtesy of RenewableUK/Fotowales.com

In his first speech as Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Hands has told the offshore wind industry that it is playing a prime role in helping the UK to reach net zero.

In his keynote address at the opening of RenewableUK’s Global Offshore Wind conference in London today, Mr Hands said:

“We’re now only 32 days away from the start of COP26 where we will look to accelerate global action to tackle the climate crisis, and it’s no exaggeration to say that offshore wind will be a lynchpin in our efforts to reach net zero. Last year the Prime Minister set out his ambitious Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, and it’s no coincidence that offshore wind took prime position in his vision.

“Whilst I may be new to this position as Minister for Energy and Climate Change, I’m not new to offshore wind. I have long been an ardent enthusiast in Government and beyond for the sector. As Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2015 we moved the parameters of spending and the CfD process decisively in favour of offshore wind and as Trade Minister since 2016 I’ve always pushed the sector’s export capability whether in Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam or elsewhere around the world, and also attracting important foreign direct investment here into the UK. So I’m personally thrilled that our country has the world’s largest installed offshore wind capacity. But not content with being world number one, we are projecting a quadrupling of that capacity within ten years”.

He also highlighted progress made by Government and the industry working together on aviation issues to push forward deployment, as well as on environmental sustainability, new grid infrastructure and planning policy reforms.

He concluded: “Floating wind will become increasingly important in helping us to reach our sixth Carbon Budget and net zero. I’m excited to see how many new floating wind projects will be brought forward by Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing process and The Crown Estate’s planned leasing round in the Celtic Sea. Building a strong UK-based floating wind supply chain will allow us to deploy here and to capitalise on a growing export market”.  

Mr Hands was appointed to his new post on 16th September.

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