The British government has finally announced what we have known for a while: that it will keep in place the £60m of investment pledged by the last government to improve infrastructure for offshore wind.
David Cameron told the CBI annual conference:
To help secure private sector investment in this technology, we’re providing up to £60 million to meet the needs of offshore wind infrastructure at our ports. And to help move things forward, the Crown Estate will also work with interested ports and manufacturers to realise the potential of their sites.
It’s a triple win. It will help secure our energy supplies, protect our planet and the Carbon Trust says it could create 70,000 jobs.
Here’s some news you may have missed overnight. It looks almost certain that the £60m promised by the last UK government to allow the country’s ports to cope with the next generation of offshore wind will be preserved in tomorrow’s spending review.
Energy secretary Chris Huhne has previously dropped big hints that this will be the case, but the clearest came yesterday when he told Lib Dems in the north east to expect “good news” on this front.
Here at the European Future Energy Forum 2010 in London, Maria McCaffery has welcomed the news, saying the “key issue” facing renewable energy providers at the moment is the supply chain.
Interestingly Lord Howell, a minister in the foreign office, did not contradict what is being described here as a “leak”. It seems offshore wind builders may be one of the few groups to be happy with the outcome of tomorrow’s review.
UPDATE: This is why the story is being called a “leak”. The Guardian has the full story.