Posts tagged Green economy

Time to seize the moment on offshore wind and the renewable industry

Investment in Scottish renewables to top £1 billion and support 11,000 jobs

Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has warned that the UK Government should allocate further investment to boost the electricity market and create thousands of offshore wind jobs.

A recent report by Cambridge Econometrics found that UK GDP will be £20bn or 0.8 per cent higher in 2030 if wind is deployed rather than gas, with 70,000 more jobs created – but that investors needed certainty if we are to secure these benefits.

Ahead of a debate on the Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Committee’s report on the achievability of the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets, Mr Ewing warned the UK coalition ministers’ mixed messages on energy policy and continuing uncertainty around Electricity Market Reform, including the lack of a decarbonisation target until at least 2016, is risking jobs, investment and economic growth.

The proposals outlined in the Energy Bill published in November 2012 lack measures to give investors confidence beyond 2020, putting the UK at a disadvantage compared to countries like Germany which has already set a clear target of 26GW from offshore wind by 2030.

Scotland would benefit in particular from an increase in offshore wind, as we have a quarter of the offshore wind potential in Europe.

Already, four international turbine manufacturers, Gamesa, Areva, Mitsubishi Power Systems and Samsung Heavy Industries have announced they intend to build turbine manufacturing plants in Scotland, creating an estimated 8,600 potential manufacturing jobs.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Offshore wind has reached a watershed. The industry has enormous potential, and to realise this potential it is essential that investors have confidence.

“Over the past weeks I have spoken to many potential investors who say the uncertainty surrounding Electricity Market Reform is starting to affect their investment decisions.

“The time to reassure them is now. The UK Government must make clear their ongoing support for offshore wind and emulate the Scottish Government’s approach by setting a 2030 electricity decarbonisation target now, not in 2016 as planned under the Energy Bill..

“Offshore wind has the potential to raise UK GDP by 0.8 per cent, and we must seize this prize. The opportunities the industry present us – in terms of jobs, investment, stabilizing energy bills and reducing our carbon output – are too valuable to risk.”

What is your reaction to the support by the Scotland’s Energy Minister to boost the renewable industry and create thousands of renewable jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Invergarry wind farm gets the go-ahead

A wind farm that will create new jobs and generate £30 million for the Highland economy has been approved by the Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

The 85-megawatt project will have 25 turbines and generate up to the equivalent of the energy needs of 40,000 homes.

The wind farm, by developers RidgeWind, will employ 90 people for its two-year construction and three people directly and three indirectly once up and running.

Mr Ewing said: “The construction will provide a valuable boost to the local economy, injecting £30 million and creating 90 jobs.

“Once it is up and running it will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and it is expected that the savings made will ‘pay off’ the carbon footprint of constructing the site in less than two years.”

The developer is set to provide five £1000 scholarships for local young people going on into university or technical college.

What is your reaction to the approval of the Invergarry wind farm that is set to bring economic boost to the region and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

Clean Energy of Northern Seas to Boost the Renewable Industry

Over forty organisations have today joined forces to set out a long-term vision for the development of offshore wind in the northern seas that will boost the green economy and create new jobs.

The new network, called Norstec, includes world leading manufacturers, cutting-edge developers, supply chain firms as well as industry bodies representing the trades.

Its mission is to maximise the energy potential generated across the northern sea region which will benefit businesses in the renewable industry and boost the trades.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who first introduced Norstec at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April, emphasised on the benefits offered by the production of clean energy and encouraged the use of renewable resources.

Mr Cameron said: “I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves.

“As I said, when I launched this network last April, we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said: “The offshore wind industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re-energising once thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond.

Mr Davey said that the Government is determined to work closely with businesses in order to make the most from offshore renewable resources.

He said: “Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe. I’m delighted to see the potential for offshore wind deployment in the northern seas set out so clearly and vividly.”

 

Government to offer bigger benefits to the wind farm industry

Communities that host onshore wind farms could benefit from reduced electricity bills and investment in local infrastructure, Energy Secretary Edward Davey said today.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has launched a consultation into how communities could benefit from having wind farms near them which could boost the green industry and create new jobs.

The community benefits consultation will seek new information on how wind farms could deliver wider environmental and social benefits to communities.

It is aimed at encouraging participation by local businesses in the economic supply chain for wind projects as well as providing new employment opportunities for the renewable industry.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “This new call for evidence will look at ways to reward host communities and ensure that wider investment, employment and social benefits are felt locally.

“We must also ensure that our policies are based on the best available evidence, so that consumers are not over-subsidising any one technology. That’s why we are seeking new evidence on the cost of onshore wind.”

Energy Minister John Hayes said that the new consultation is evidence that both parties in the Coalition are alive to the need for fresh thinking about the green economy.

Mr Hayes said: “Appropriately sited onshore wind has a role to play, but if we’re to make this work in a way that garners popular support, we’ve got to see a big improvement in how developers engage with local communities, new ways of ensuring a sense of local ownership and more obvious local economic benefits.”

Green Industry Offers Jobs Growth

The scale of green employment and low-carbon infrastructure investment has been rising, employing a significantly larger workforce than other UK industry, a major report by the Green Alliance think tank revealed today.

According to the report, the current state of the Green Economy, which is worth £122 billion, has been consistently growing by 5 per cent since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.

The Green Economy currently forms almost 10 per cent of the total economic activity in the UK, employing 939,600 people in low-carbon and environmental jobs.

The Green Alliance said the UK’s top 20 infrastructure projects in 2012-13 will deliver a £23 billion investment which will bring further employment opportunities for people in the trades.

Speaking to Business Green today, report author Alastair Harper, said that some of the biggest projects in the pipeline are in the offshore wind industry as well as in public transport, nuclear and other renewable programmes.

He said: “All you are going to get with more road, gas and airport infrastructure is the same level of capital investment we’ve been bumping along with since the 1970s.

“In contrast, the green economy is about new projects that can attract new investment, and provide a source for exports.”

Mr Harper said that despite negative language from some ministers, the green industry has been able to get major international investors “to open up their wallets” and invest in the low-carbon sector.

What is your reaction to the low-carbon investment which led the green economy to succeed in crating hundreds of thousands of green jobs? Do you agree with the current trend which is forecast to continue in future? 

Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Good News for the Trades: Millions of Funding to Create New Jobs

“Hundreds of plumbers, electricians and gas engineers to benefit from the investment”

Millions of funding to get low carbon heating into peoples’ homes, including into hundreds of social houses across the nation, is still up for grabs according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Local authorities, housing associations and registered providers of social housing are being urged to benefit from the millions of pounds available from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).

The scheme will replace more renewable heating systems, including biomass boilers, solar hot water panels and heat pumps, creating new employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The RHPP has reopened thanks to the high value for money of projects already allocated funding under the scheme which will make tenants’ homes warmer, cosier and far more energy efficient.

Today, the DECC announced that up to £2.5 million of additional funding will be allocated under this element of the scheme.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We have already awarded nearly £5 million to 72 projects under this year’s scheme, helping householders stay warm this winter and move away from expensive old heating systems to new clean renewable ones.

“But the high value for money of the bids we have received to date means that there is still money up for grabs and I would urge social landlords across the nation to apply and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer.”

The closing date for applications is 9 October 2012 and successful bidders will be announced shortly afterwards. You can find out more about the scheme and how to apply from here.

What is your reaction to the reopening the of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme which will bring financial investment to the trades and create new jobs in the industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

The Trades Praise Clegg’s Commitment to Renewable Energy

The largest trade association in Britain, the Renewable Energy Association (REA), has welcomed Nick Clegg’s announcement to provide a £100 million fund for green investment that will boost the renewable energy industry and create new jobs.

Making the announcement today, Deputy Prime Minister Clegg said that the multimillion fund will enable the UK Green Investments team (UKGI) to see more domestic and foreign investments to the renewable industry.

Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, praised the Deputy Prime Minister for his leadership and commitment to the renewable energy sector.

He said: “We need clear leadership from the top of Government on renewable energy, so the Deputy Prime Minister’s unequivocal commitment to renewable energy is very welcome and timely.

“He is quite right that a global energy revolution is underway and we look forward to working with him to ensure the UK fulfills its extraordinary potential.”

However, Mr Hartnell said that the Coalition Government needed a more stable policy framework to make sure the UK’s renewable industry continues to expand, paving the way for green jobs in the future.

Mr Hartnell said: “The Coalition Government needs to do much better on providing a clear and stable policy framework to make sure the UK isn’t left further behind.

“Recent decisions on support levels for renewable power technologies, which have failed to provide the expected certainty out to 2017, together with the uncertain status of the Electricity Market Reform package, do not provide the stable framework that industry needs.”

Do you also welcome Nick Clegg’s intervention to boost the green economy? What else the Government could do to further accelerate green investment and create more jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Green Investment is set to Create New Jobs in the Trades

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a £100 million fund for green investment which will create new jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Speaking to an energy conference in London’s Lancaster House today, Mr Clegg defended the Government’s commitment to support the renewable energy sector, outlining lasting benefits to the UK low-carbon economy.

He announced multi-million contracts by UK Green Investments (UKGI) with fund managers Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL) to provide initial capital to encourage foreign and domestic investment in non-domestic energy efficiency.

The Deputy Minister’s announcement was hailed with a £12 million expansion by a recycling firm Closed Loop in Dagenham, East London, that will create and safeguard 100 jobs.

The UK is the sixth largest market in low carbon goods and environmental services in the world. It contributes 3.9 per cent of the UK’s GDP and employs 173,000 people.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the Coalition Government is ‘unreservedly committed’ to help Britain’s low carbon sector thrive, providing a clean and green economy.

He said: “There is a global energy revolution underway and the UK is not going to be left behind. We’re leading from the front.

“Together we find ourselves at the vanguard of one of the most dynamic, most innovative, most important industries of our time; an industry whose breakthroughs and endeavours will shape our societies for years to come; an industry that will help us build a more stable, more sustainable, more prosperous world.”

What is your reaction to the Government’s £100 million fund that will accelerate investment in the renewable industry and create new jobs?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Renewable Energy Projects to Bring Billions of Investment into the UK

Changes to subsidies for renewable electricity in Britain could accelerate up to £25 billion of new investment and create thousands of new jobs according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey.

Bandings for renewable technologies were set last week under the Government’s Renewables Obligation which will support and create new green jobs whilst at the same time minimise energy cost to consumers.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, welcomed the decision which will ensure rapid growth in the renewable energy and unlock further green investment.

Mr Davey said: “Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country.

“Because value for money is vital, we will bring forward more renewable electricity while reducing the impact on consumer bills between 2013 and 2015, saving £6 off household energy bills next year and £5 the year after.”

The Banding Review (as set out by the DECC) includes:

  • Support for onshore wind from 2013-17 will be reduced by 10% to 0.9ROCs, as consulted on in autumn 2011. This level is guaranteed until at least 2014 but could change after then if there is a significant change in generation costs. A call for evidence on onshore wind industry costs will be launched this autumn and report in early 2013.
  • Rates of support for offshore wind will reduce as the cost of the technology comes down during the decade;
  • Support levels for certain marine energy technologies will more than double from 2ROCs to 5ROCs per MWh, subject to a 30MW limit per generating station;
  • There will be a new band to support existing coal plant converting to sustainable biomass fuels. This will increase the amount of renewable energy produced at less cost to consumers; and
  • There will be no immediate reduction in support for large-scale solar, but there will be a further consultation this year on reduced support levels given recent dramatic falls in costs.

The Growth of Green Industry is Vital for UK’s Economic Recovery

“Green Investment should play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery” states a new report by the Environment Audit Committee published today.

The new report, “A Green Economy” reinforces calls by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) for the Government to put renewable energy at the heart of its economic recovery and employment strategy.

The Report on employment and skills in the UK renewable energy published last month showed that there were over 100,000 people employed in renewable sector across Britain, generating a turnover of £12.5 billion last year alone.

However, the REA is warning that there is a danger for Britain not to fulfil its full potential because of serious skills shortages and uncertainties in the policy framework.

The organisation which represents renewable energy producers in the UK, says that 400,000 people will be needed in the sector by 2020 to meet binding EU targets, suggesting that the renewable industry will need a skilful workforce to deal with continually increasing demand.

Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, said that the government needs to understand the potential benefits of renewable energy investment.

Ms Hartnell said: “Several countries, from America to Japan to Germany, have realised that taking the long-term view and investing in renewables is a significant step on the route out of economic malaise. The UK renewables industry wants to work with the Coalition Government to realise the huge contribution our sector can make to jobs, growth and prosperity.”

Do you agree that renewable energy investment is a key factor that will pave the way for more jobs and an economic recovery? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page

Green Energy Will Support Economic Growth in Britain

Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne wrote in the Guardian newspaper yesterday that Britain has to stimulate future economic growth by investing in the renewable energy sector.

Economic recovery from double dip recession will work only if the government pursue ‘green growth’ because energy saving is a win-win situation for both businesses and households, the Former Cabinet Minister stated.

Mr Huhne is confident that green growth is sustainable because it has the potential for creating new jobs, cutting energy bills and increasing spending incomes of households. He also encouraged more vigorous debate on the wider agenda for natural resources and energy efficiency.

Mr Huhne said “Much of our economic debate implies we must choose between going green or going for growth. That view may be the opposite of the truth. There is now hard evidence that the real choice is between green growth or no growth at all.”

Although the Former Liberal Democrat Minister didn’t criticise the government and declined to name those who are portraying green policies as a barrier to growth.  Some senior Liberal Democrats in the coalition government have previously complained that Tory MPs have been obstructing green policies relating to energy efficiency.

What is your reaction to the article by former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne? Do you share his opinion that investing more in energy projects will boost the UK economy? Let us know by leaving a comment below:  

EU: Millions of Jobs Could be Created in the Renewable Sector

Business Green reported today that a new job plan estimated to create 20 million jobs across Europe will boost the renewable sector and make low-carbon industries central to the 27 EU member states.

The proposed job package could create millions of new jobs in Europe’s construction, recycling and renewable industry. The scheme has been launched to deal with high level of unemployment in countries across the European Union and is expected to create long-term job opportunities.

European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, welcomed the proposals saying that energy efficiency measures could lead to 2 million jobs in the renewable industry by the end of 2020, Business Green reported.

Commissioner Hedegaard encouraged EU member states to comply with energy-efficiency targets set in the Energy Efficiency Directive which was introduced to improve energy efficiency by helping consumers using energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain.

Ms Hedegaard emphasised the importance of the renewable industry for creation of jobs and future economic growth.  “If Europe does not step up its green economy efforts, we risk losing an immense source of quality jobs,” she said. “If we water down our efforts on energy efficiency, we water down the job potential as well.”

What is your reaction to the new job plan likely to create millions of jobs in the renewable sector? Are you more optimistic about the future of the renewable sector? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:

Bright Future for the Green Economy

With increasingly higher demand for professionals in the renewable sector, the UK’s environmental charity organisation, Global Action Plan and global management consultant Accenture, have launched a two-year collaborative partnership to help young people gain the necessary skills for the emerging green economy.

The scheme will provide green skills development for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who are not currently in education or training, to build their employability skills, offer new opportunities and address the current skills shortage in the green sector.

Funding of £170,000 will be provided to support the green training by 2014; it will help people to find relevant work placements across a number of organisations in the green industry. Some 1,300 young people will benefit from the project.

Environmental groups, policymakers and companies have made the argument that renewable energy should be favoured over sources of non-renewables because it will create green jobs and boost the economy as well as help people tackle climate change.

The government is determined to continue with its commitment to improve energy efficiency in Britain. It has already invested £200 million into renewable energy projects which will help the green sector grow and give confidence to businesses.

Chief Executive of Global Action Plan, Trewin Restorick, said that the collaborative venture has been designed to boost employment and address key issues in the renewable sector.

Mr Restorick said: “As unemployment among 16-24 year olds continues to hit record highs, cross-sector partnerships such as the one between Global Action Plan and Accenture are vital in ensuring young people get into employment and contribute to a better, more sustainable society.”

What is your reaction to this and other initiatives to help the green sector? Do you think the government is doing enough to help the renewables sector? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

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