Blueprint for renewables industry

Posted on 24 Mar 2010 by The Manufacturer

RenewableUK published a pre-Budget document today, emphasizing the manufacturing opportunities in the renewables sector.

In “Rebirth of UK Manufacturing”, the trade association called for Government support to ensure the sector receives a substantial amount of investment. In the document, it presents a number of case studies as examples of how the UK can effectively become leader in the off-shore energy industry.

Many firms have already developed an interest in this promising sector, proving how a combination of investment and entrepreneurial drive can lead to lucrative business opportunities: some examples are Burntisland Fabrications, which specialises in the construction of foundations for wind projects, Alnmaritec, which is now making a transition from aluminium alloy workboats to wind farm support boats, and California-based Clipper Windpower, which will install the world’s largest wind turbine off the north-east English coast.

Dr. Gordon Edge, RenewableUK director of economics and markets, said: “If Brazil could do it with the biofuels industry, Denmark with onshore wind and Japan with photovoltaic technology, we too can be world leaders in offshore wind, marine energy and small wind systems. These are technologies in which we already hold a lead. With a relatively modest outlay we could be creating multi-billion pound industries employing 50,000 people by 2020.”

In “Rebirth of UK Manufacturing” and in its Budget Submission, RenewableUK pointed out which measure need to be taken by the Government to meet the needs of the industry. They are the creation of manufacturing hubs around strategic UK ports, the expansion of R&D facilities such as Narec (already used by many companies operating in the wind power industry), an investment of £200 to £300 million over the next three years and the introduction of a Green Bank to ensure adequate capitalisation.

“The industry is asking for essentials in order to grow and realise its full potential. As a result, the country as a whole will be better off. We will be looking at lower bills and securing our energy supplies. This is a clear case of investing wisely in order to secure the nation’s future,” said Edge.

Paul Taylor, spokesman for Marine Current Turbine, said that all political parties have proved to be committed to renewable energies. He added: “It is crucial for marine energy to secure the necessary investment to deploy its technology, and to do that you need to exceed expectations and improve your performance. It is also important to get the UK supply chain moving.”

Roberto Priolo