Johnson to pledge £160m for offshore wind power

Image copyright

Boris Johnson will promise to “build back greener” in his conference speech on Tuesday, announcing new investment in offshore wind energy.

The PM will pledge £160m to upgrade ports and factories for building turbines, setting a target for offshore wind to produce enough electricity to power every UK home by 2030.

The plan aims to create 2,000 jobs in construction and support 60,000 more.

He will say it “sets us on our path towards a green industrial revolution”.

Mr Johnson’s speech comes after he made a pledge at a UN biodiversity summit in New York to protect 30% of UK land for nature as a “boost for biodiversity”.

The scheme will see the money invested into manufacturing in Teesside and Humber in Northern England, as well as sites in Scotland and Wales.

Mr Johnson said the government was raising its target for offshore wind power capacity by 2030 from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.

The government believes its plan will lead to wider growth in the industry by 2030, with the UK becoming “the world leader in clean wind energy”.

The commitments are the first stage of a 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” from the government, with No 10 promising the rest of the details later this year to “accelerate our progress towards net zero emissions by 2050”.

The net zero target means greenhouse gas emissions would be dramatically slashed and any remaining emissions offset, neutralising environmental impacts and slowing climate change.

Image copyright

Image caption

The Beatrice offshore wind farm in Scotland generates enough power for more than 450,000 properties

Mr Johnson will tell the Conservative Party’s virtual conference he believes that in 10 years’ time, “offshore wind will be powering every home in the country”.

“Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands.

“Far out in the deepest waters we will harvest the gusts, and by upgrading infrastructure in places like Teesside and Humber and Scotland and Wales, we will increase an offshore wind capacity that is already the biggest in the world.”

The PM will also repeat his pledge for the UK to become the “Saudi Arabia of wind power”, adding: “As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind – a place of almost limitless resource, but in the case of wind without the carbon emissions and without the damage to the environment.”

‘Lightbulb moment’

The prime minister has previously said the UK should embrace a range of new technologies to achieve its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Last month, Mr Johnson said he wanted the UK to take the lead in carbon capture and storage technology, in which greenhouse gas emissions are captured from sources such as power stations and then stored underground.

He also said the UK government was thinking of bringing forward the date for phasing out new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 to 2030.

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “The prime minister’s recognition that last year’s Tory manifesto commitment on offshore wind can generate jobs whilst cutting energy bills and carbon is a great lightbulb moment.

“If carried through it would help cement the UK’s global leadership in this key technology.

“But delivering 40 gigawatts of power on to the grid by 2030 requires action in this Parliament.”

Source link

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: