Ambitions for the UK to become “the world leader in clean wind energy” have been welcomed by energy sector leaders from Norfolk and Suffolk.
Speaking at the virtual Conservative party conference, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the Government was raising its target for offshore wind power capacity by 2030 from 30 Gigawatts to 40 Gigawatts.
He told the conference that he believes in ten years’ time, offshore wind will be powering every home in the country. The Government has also committed £160m investment to upgrading ports and factories for building turbines and infrastructure.
Norfolk and Suffolk is at the epicentre of the world’s largest market for offshore wind energy, worth almost £1bn a year.
Commenting on the announcement, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s All Energy Industry Council Chair Mark Goodall said: “This shows great ambition and as the UK’s clean energy region, we’re in a fantastic position to support and benefit from the investment in infrastructure and jobs which this will create.
“Our region is in an excellent position to benefit from the investment in, and growing demand for, clean energy – including offshore wind - and our All Energy Industry Council will continue to work closely with local and national Government to promote Norfolk and Suffolk and strengthen links with industry.
“The Norfolk and Suffolk Local Industrial Strategy affirms our commitment to leading the way as the UK’s clean growth region. As we look to the ways in which our region can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the energy sector has an important role to play in supporting business growth, skills development and our position as an international hub for energy production and expertise.”
Martin Dronfield, East of England Offshore Wind Cluster champion said: “Overall, I’m very pleased with the contents of the Prime Minister’s speech surrounding energy and its implications for the East of England. It’s good news that the 40GW target for Offshore Wind by 2030 has been finally confirmed as Government policy after its inclusion in last year’s Conservative manifesto.
“The fact that 12GW has been committed for AR4 auction next year is fantastic news for the region as it helps underpin future developments in our offshore zone. The East of England remains the national powerhouse for offshore wind with around half of the installed capacity in the region and it looks set to stay in this dominant position for many years to come, the announcements by the PM today will ensure that offshore wind continues to generate business opportunities, new jobs and skills enhancement across the nation and more specifically in our region.”