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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. 

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Multi-million highway job and two framework lots get the go ahead

The Welsh Government has granted a four-year technology contract for the maintenance of infrastructure schemes that will boost the trades and create new jobs.

Costain, a leading engineering solutions provider, has confirmed a £15 million technology contract as well as two lots of the Highways Agency Asset Support Framework that are expected to start in early 2013.

Work packages would include surfacing works, structures works, technology related works, and general highway improvements across the whole of the Highways Agency motorway and trunk road network.

While there is no commitment by the Agency to spend under the framework, over £750 million of work packages are expected to be awarded through the framework over the next three years.

Costain is one of five contractors on each framework that will operate for three years, with scope for an extension of up to a further 12 months.

Andrew Wyllie, Chief Executive of Costain, commented: “We are delighted with these additional appointments from existing customers, which demonstrate the ongoing success of the implementation of our ‘Choosing Costain’ strategy: providing a broader service offering to the major customers who are making significant investment in the UK’s national infrastructure needs.”

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jamie Haskins talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

Jamie Haskins  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Jamie to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Jamie via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills 

UK Industry Could Save £1.4 Billion from Energy Lighting

A leading energy efficient firm has published a report suggesting that the UK’s manufacturing industry could save as much as £1.4 billion per year by switching to a new lighting technology which will significantly reduce spending on energy costs.

The report, entitled The Light Bulb Moment, is based on a 4-year survey conducted by Vita Energia across 500 manufacturing and industrial firms, each employing over 100 members of staff. Vita Energiaexplores the different methods that UK businesses can use to improve their energy efficiency with minimal investment and help cut carbon emissions.

It has been estimated that by upgrading existing lighting technology, UK manufacturing and industrial businesses could make huge savings which will have a real impact on energy usage in commercial premises across the UK.

The report concludes that addressing the current light efficient systems within the manufacturing sector will provide a timely boost to the UK’s industry operational performance and contribute to economic growth in the future.

Director of Vita Energia, Duncan Stevens, said that the report is a valuable indication for UK business to optimise their performance and make improvements across different manufacturing and industrial sites in the UK.

Speaking to Business Green, Mr Stevens said: “The calculations are very robust, they are based on detailed surveys of lighting technologies and fittings, and energy prices at a variety of locations; the evidence is there that energy efficient lighting systems can save firms a lot of money.

“The technology is now proven and people can see it delivers substantial savings; the focus for businesses has to be on the economic case for these types of deployments.” Mr Stevens added.

What is your reaction to the report by Vita Energia? Do you think you or your business could make savings by adopting more efficient lighting systems? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Scotland goes on 100% renewable energy charge

The UK have announced they are championing the use of renewable energy and believe it is the future. But Scotland, with their brand spanking new government, want to go one better.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has announced that the country is fully backing renewable energy and wants 100% of electricity in Scotland to be produced by renewable by 2020.

Originally it was supposed to be 80% of renewable energy by 2020, but seeing as Scotland have exceeded their targets, they thought they would go the full mile and aim for the full 100%.

Mr Salmond wants Scotland to become “the green energy powerhouse of Europe” and believes the 100% target is achievable. He said, “Because the pace of development has been so rapid, with our 2011 target already exceeded, we can now commit to generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020.”

If all goes to plan, Scotland will be producing twice as much electricity in 2020 as it needs and is hoping to attract serious investment (£6 billion is a figure being banded around).

What do you think about Scotland’s 100% target for renewable energy? Let us know and comment on here or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.