Tuesday, 23 March 2010

How the Lib Dems can promote offshore wind energy

I welcome the Liberal Democrats’ call for action to deliver by 2020 a 40% reduction in UK greenhouse gas emissions and to have at least 33 gigawatts of offshore wind energy.

The UK has about 1 GW of offshore wind capacity. So we need to explain in our manifesto how we’d get to 33 GW.

Nick Clegg’s pledge to invest in upgrading disused shipyards, so that off-shore wind turbines are made here is much needed.

There are three other steps we should take.

To sustain investor confidence, we should be ready to continue the temporary support to offshore wind under the Renewables Obligation.

To avoid the delays that have frustrated clean energy sources so much, we should put time limits on planning decisions for offshore wind projects.

And to unlock the commercial potential of offshore wind, we should back plans for a European super-grid which would allow more international energy trading -- and bring electricity prices down.

[This is a slightly expanded version of my one minute intervention in the debate on "Growth that Lasts: A Fair, Green and Sustainable Economy" at the Liberal Democrat spring conference, 14 March 2010]

Posted via web from Neil Stockley

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