New Energy Direction to Bring Investment to East of England

UK Energy secretary Amber Rudd’s announcement of three offshore wind auctions this parliament – followed by ScottishPower Renewables’ announcement that it had submitted plans to build a 1200MW 172 turbine wind farm as the next phase of East Anglia Array – would lift investor uncertainty in the East of England, siad James Gray, director of the East of England Energy Zone.

“The offshore wind industry has been in suspense and frustrated because investors have been uncertain about committing to the East of England, the UK’s offshore wind centre, without clarity from the Government about its energy policy and future auctions.

“That despondency was lifted today with everyone I have spoken to welcoming the positive Government message.

“We are eagerly awaiting the detail, which we hope includes requirements for UK content in future developments.

“This will mean more opportunities for our supply chain, employment and investment in the East of England.

“If this market is now being properly opened up by the government, our ports are in the driving seat because most of the investment that comes forward is going to be in the Southern North Sea and our ports, plus Humberside, will be the key delivery points.

“Moreover our ports in particular are also well placed to support the emerging opportunities off the Belgian and Dutch coasts.”

The industry was already working hard to drive down costs by developing technologies to meet the energy secretary’s demands, he said.

“The ball is now firmly in the industry’s court and we can be confident that developers like ScottishPower Renewables, Statkraft , RWE and Dong, are all committed to driving costs down for the industry to be politically sustainable long term.

“Now we can move forward driving costs down and UK content up.”