The UK government announced yesterday that they will invest over £200 million in renewable energy, by creating a new offshore renewable energy and innovation centre which will focus on wind, wave and tidal power.
The creation of these new centres is part of the £325 million UK Innovation Investment Fund (UKIIF), which supports businesses working on energy efficiency, alternative energy and renewable energy structure. Vince Cable said, “This funding provides the support to allow private sector industries to grow and for them to become more energy efficient.”
It makes sense for the UK to invest more time and resources into renewable energy; after all the UK is surrounded by water and has world-leading expertise in offshore engineering.
University Science Minister David Willetts said, “It is vital we invest in renewable energy now to gain maximum benefits in the future. There is huge potential for growth in the sector, and the prospect to generate billions of pounds for the economy whilst creating thousands of job opportunities at the same time.”
The Technology Strategy Board believes that this is a chance for the UK to establish a UK supply chain for offshore wind. The creation of these centre will also create thousands of jobs and put billions back into the UK economy. Wind turbine companies, Vestas, GE, Siemens and Mitsubishi believe that as many as 70, 000 new jobs could be created in the renewable energy sector by 2020.
The Carbon Trust estimated that the global offshore wind farm market will grow by approximately 10% a year over the next 40 years and by 2050, it could be worth up to £170 billion per year.
Vince Cable said, “The UK is a world leader in offshore engineering and our reputation makes us an excellent location for research in this area. There is a clear opportunity for the Government to support the UK’s offshore industry and this centre will be of great benefit to the sector and the economy.”
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