Green groups welcome offshore wind announcement

The Government’s £75 billion offshore wind turbine programme has been welcomed today by green groups including the Green party.

The Guardian reported this morning that, “Round three will be the biggest wind programme announced by the Crown Estate so far and aims to accelerate the deployment of wind energy on a massive scale.”

The Green party’s leader, Caroline Lucas, has welcomed the announcement. She said:

“It is encouraging to see progress finally being made on offshore wind. But the efforts must not stop there.

“The UK gets less of its energy from renewable sources than almost any other EU country, and is one of the highest greenhouse gas emitters as a result. What we need is an energy infrastructure overhaul, with massive investment in diverse renewable sources to slash emissions.”

A Greenpeace briefing outlines that the move is “a huge opportunity to secure a clean domestic energy future.” Britain is currently the world leader in deployment of offshore wind while the Carbon Trust calculates that the UK could seize 45 per cent of the global offshore wind market by 2020, delivering £65 billion of net economic value and 220,000 total jobs by 2050.

Friends of the Earth have also welcomed the announcement but want the Government to be even more ambitious. Renewable energy campaigner Nick Rau said:

“Plans to build thousands of offshore turbines are fantastic news – but the Government must do more to develop the UK’s vast wind energy potential and ensure that Britain reaps the benefits of creating thousands of new green jobs.

The Times cautioned this morning that a £10-15 billion ‘Super Grid’ will “be needed before the country’s electricity network could deal with the huge peaks associated with wind power.”

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