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Government to promote offshore wind investment

Government to promote offshore wind investmentBusiness and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to boost levels of inward investment and to further stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry.

The OWIO is expected to boost the UK offshore wind industry alongside Government support for three offshore wind innovation projects as well as pave the way for new employment opportunities in the trades.

Energy Minister, Michael Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.

“We already have more installed offshore wind than anywhere else in the world, and this brings enormous economic benefit to our shores, supporting thousands of skilled jobs.

“Through the formation of this industry-led partnership and through our support for innovation projects, we will boost the positive benefits that the offshore wind sector can bring to the UK economy.”

The OWIO is one of the recommendations of the forthcoming industrial strategy and will be headed by a senior industry figure. The organisation will be a partnership between industry and Government, established by UK Trade & Investment, that will complement the work of DECC and BIS in delivering the Government-wide offshore investment objectives.

Michael Fallon also announced three innovation projects that Government will support as part of Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme:

  • Power Cable Services Limited, based in Kent, have been awarded a £540,000 grant towards their high voltage subsea cable jointing technology project
  • Aquasium Technology Ltd with partners Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and TWI have been awarded a grant of £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project.
  • Wind Technologies Ltd (Cambridge) have been awarded a £728,355 grant to design, manufacture and test an innovative 5MW medium speed drive train concept.

The Minister announced the support during his keynote speech to Renewable UK’s Offshore Wind 2013 conference in Manchester today.

Industry delegates at the conference are also able to attend the first ‘Share Fair’ session enabling them to hear about investment opportunities from major players in the market. This addresses one of the priorities identified by the offshore wind industrial strategy partnership between Government and industry.

What is your reaction to the Government plans to boost levels of inward investment and create new jobs in the UK offshore wind industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Nuclear plan to create jobs and boost economic growth

Sellafield nuclear siteThe nuclear industry will play a major role in driving economic growth, securing the nation’s energy suppliers and creating new jobs, Energy Minister John Hayes announced today.

The comments come as a campaign is launched to fill around 500 skilled jobs at the Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria.

The roles will include operations and maintenance staff, engineers, project managers and back-office functions.

They will be filled by a mixture of apprentices, graduates, and trainees and ex-military personnel will be specifically targeted in the recruitment process.

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon confirmed the Government’s commitment to expand its global nuclear market as part of the published Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan.

He said: “This action plan is an important part of our work with industry to shape a vibrant UK nuclear industry, and to ensure the UK exploits the commercial opportunities that exist and is a leading player in the expanding global nuclear market.

“We are determined to exploit our strengths and believe this is a sector where a partnership between government and industry can help give the UK a competitive edge in the global race. It’s a key sector in our industrial strategy.”

John Hayes, Energy Minister, said: “Energy is central to our economic future and at the heart of all we do as a nation.

“Just as atoms collide in a nuclear reactor, the economic benefits of our nuclear renaissance will reverberate far and wide across the country.

“The announcement of 500 jobs at Sellafield today shows the immense contribution of the nuclear sector to the UK economy, in particular that of West Cumbria.

“Our Action Plan for the nuclear supply chain will set out how the UK can make the most of future opportunities presented by around £60bn of new investment.”

“No Fees” Incentive for Green Deal Installers

Assessors, installers and providers of Green Deal services will face no fees for registration or oversight during the scheme’s first two years, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced. 

The DECC is going to fund all costs associated with the registration and oversight service in order to help those participating in the scheme, with the intention of moving to a fee-based approach from year three onwards, when the Green Deal has become established.

Speaking at Wolseley, UK’s Plumb Centre Green Deal open day in Leamington Spa, Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker welcomed the announcement of “no registration fees” which will encourage participation in the scheme and give businesses the confidence they need.

Mr Barker said: “No registration fees for the first two years will remove burdensome admin costs at a time when many can least afford them, helping encourage organisations to get on-board and offering more freedom of choice for consumers.”

The announcement follows the appointment of a multi-service provider Gemserv to run the new Green Deal oversight body which will be responsible for the registration of assessors, installers and providers, the DECC confirmed today.

Commenting on the recent appointment the Energy Minister said: “We need to make sure all the Green Deal assessors, installers and providers get our stamp of approval to ensure the highest level of consumer protection for householders and businesses under this scheme. I am delighted that Gemserv has risen to the challenge and is going to take on this very important role.”

Do you welcome the announcement of “no fees” for installers and Green Deal providers? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

 

Renewable Industry Praises Delay to Solar Tariff Cuts

 

The UK’s renewable industry has welcomed the announcement by Energy Secretary Ed Davey not to go ahead with scheduled reduction in solar tariffs which would have badly hit the solar PV sector.

Solar does not only protect homeowners from rising energy bills, but it also delivers a great return on investment. The cost of solar power has been coming down faster than any other energy generation technology, the Renewable Energy Association confirmed.

Commenting on the decision to help the renewable industry, Energy Minister Greg Barker said the Government is “listening carefully to industry” and that this delay gives industry the opportunity to reignite the solar market and grow further.

“It is very encouraging for the future that Government is listening to industry concerns, but we need certainty as soon as possible on the details of when and what the next tariff adjustments will be.”- Chief Executive of the Solar Trade Association (STA), Paul Barwell, said.

Juliet Davenport, Founder and CEO of Good Energy which is the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier commented that solar is a great opportunity for the generation of renewable energy and a powerful way of giving households greater control over their energy bills.

Ms Davenport said: “Already we’re seeing how solar makes a natural partner for more intermittent forms of renewable generation, like wind. That’s going to become more and more important in years to come, and it’s time to invest today for the energy market of tomorrow.”

What’s your reaction to the announcement by Energy Secretary Ed Davey not to go ahead with scheduled reduction in solar tariffs which will help the renewable industry? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: