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Vattenfall questions ‘reality’ of Prime Minister’s wind power promise

Norfolk’s offshore energy sector has given Westminster a reality check after the Prime Minister announced the government’s intention to see the country’s homes powered by wind energy within 10 years.
One of Vattenfall's windfarms, at Kentish Flats. Picture: Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Marketing

Boris Johnson this morning pledged to lead the UK into a green industrial revolution that would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

He announced the creation of the wind power plan which will see £160m made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure as the next generation of turbines are built.

But energy giants already working in the East of England said the reality may be some way off.


Danielle Lane Head and Shoulders pic croppedDanielle Lane, Vattenfall's UK country manager. Picture: Vattenfall

Danielle Lane, who is the UK country manager for Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, which is building its Vanguard windfarm off the Norfolk coast, said the “ambition” was a good sign.

She said: “The ambition signalled by the Prime Minister - to drastically increase the UK’s offshore wind generation and boost the infrastructure, skills, and supply chain jobs needed alongside it - shows that this is the industry on which the country’s future will be built.”

She went on: “But for the rhetoric to become reality, it’s important that the government doesn’t overlook some significant hurdles. Planning decisions still take far too long, meaning renewable energy projects can be left in limbo for years before they know whether they will be approved.

“We also need to see a clear strategy in the forthcoming Energy White Paper that goes beyond just thinking about how to make electricity generation greener, and sets out how low-carbon power - including technologies such as onshore wind and solar - will be used to decarbonise industry and transport.”


xxx Vattenfall_Horns_rev_3_wind_farm_7738Vattenfall's Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm in the North Sea off Denmark. Picture: Vattenfall

But Mr Johnson seemed adamant the target could be reached. Addressing the virtual Tory conference today he said: “In 10 years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country, with our target rising from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.

“You heard me right. 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.

“We will invest £160m in ports and factories across the country, to manufacture the next generation of turbines.

“And we will not only build fixed arrays in the sea, we will build windmills that float on the sea - enough to deliver one gigawatt of energy by 2030, 15 times as much as the rest of the world put together.”