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by John Johnston
06 October 2020
UK the Saudi Arabia of offshore wind power, Boris Johnson will say in party conference speech

Offshore wind turbines

UK the Saudi Arabia of offshore wind power, Boris Johnson will say in party conference speech

Boris Johnson is expected to use his speech at the virtual Conservative Party conference to unveil a new £160m investment in ports and factories as part of his plans to ‘build back greener’ after the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes ahead of a planned multi-billion-pound package into hydrogen fuel, carbon capture and storage and wind farms which Johnson said would make the UK a “world leader in clean wind energy”.

The Prime Minister will announce a raft of new green energy policies aimed at ensuring wind power will provide enough electricity to run every UK home within a decade.

Johnson will say: “We need to give people the chance to train for the new jobs that are being created every day, in new technologies and new ways of doing things.

“And there is one area where we are progressing quite literally with gale force speed and that is the green economy – the green industrial revolution that in the next 10 years will create hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs.

“I can announce that the UK Government has decided to become the world leader in low cost clean power generation – cheaper than coal and gas – and we believe that in 10 years' time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country, with our target rising from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.”

Comparing the UK's resources in offshore to those of Saudi Arabia's oil wealth, he will claim the initial package of support would be focussed in so-called ‘Red Wall’ areas in Teesside and Humber in Northern England, as well as in sites in Scotland and Wales.

Johnson is expected to say the first tranche of cash would create 2,000 construction jobs and support a further 60,000 in the clean energy sector.

“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,” he will say.

“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.

“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.”

Responding to the announcement, 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 powers on to the grid by 2030 requires action in this parliament.”

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