28 November 2012
RenewableUK, the trade and professional body representing the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, has welcomed today’s opening of the Green Investment Bank.
Launching the £3 billion fund in Edinburgh, the Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The Bank will place the green economy at the heart of our recovery, and position the UK in the forefront of the drive to develop clean energy”.
He predicted that it would encourage private and public investment of £15 billion in low-carbon initiatives by 2015, and highlighted the fact that Britain is “unique in having a state-backed bank devoted to green economy projects”.
Dr Cable specifically highlighted the importance of the offshore wind sector, saying that it would “help to deliver our commitment to create jobs and growth right across the UK”.
The Energy Secretary Edward Davey also attended the launch, and stated: “The Green Investment bank will help attract the capital required to allow the green economy to blossom, encouraging investors to market and kick-starting low-carbon projects. In combination with our energy market reforms, there will be lasting economic benefits as a result, with new expertise and jobs created, that will give the UK a competitive edge”.
RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith said:
“The opening of the Green Investment Bank comes at a crucial time for the renewables sector, the day before the publication of the Energy Bill which will set the framework for the entire energy industry for decades to come. Today’s unequivocal assurances on investment, from some of the biggest hitters in the Cabinet, provide further tangible proof that the renewables sector is regarded by those at the heart of policy-making as one of the main engines for growth. We trust that a similar message will be forthcoming in the Energy Bill so that we can deliver more than 88,000 jobs in the wind wave and tidal sectors alone by 2021”.
“However, the Green Investment Bank has still not identified marine energy as a priority sector, even though the UK is the world leader in developing wave and tidal energy projects. RenewableUK will continue to urge the GIB to find a way to support the development of marine energy. More than twelve-thousand people are expected to be employed in wave and tidal energy by the dawn of the next decade”.
As evidence of the importance of the marine energy sector, Siemens reported today that its 1.2 megawatt SeaGen tidal device in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, has achieved three power generation milestones.
Since its installation in 2008, the tidal current turbine device has fed more than six gigawatt hours of power into the grid – a record for a free stream tidal energy system.
The leap from 5 to 6 gigawatt hours took only 68 days – the narrowest time frame for the generation of a single gigawatt hour since the turbine started operation.
During a strong spring tide on 14th October, SeaGen achieved a high of 22.52 megawatt hours (MWh) – its highest level of power generation in a single day.