More skilled staff needed for green technology sector

The UK needs more skilled engineers and workers if it is to build up green technology sectors such as wind turbine manufacture, the new president of Bosch's UK operations has warned.

The UK needs more skilled engineers and workers if it is to build up green technology sectors such as wind turbine manufacture, the new president of Bosch's UK operations has warned.

 

Peter Fouquet, whose company makes a range of "green" products, from energy efficient technology in cars to solar panels and ground source heat pumps, said the UK lacked people with relevant skills compared with other European countries.

And in the wake of the Government's announcement that it intends to oversee the installation of up to 10,000 wind turbines on and offshore, Dr Fouquet said ministers should also look to develop production of the technology within this country.

 

He said that Bosch, which makes gear boxes for wind turbines, currently had no plans to begin manufacturing in the UK, but could in the future if the market were to grow. And he said there were huge opportunities in marine power, if it could be made affordable.

 

He said: "There is a skills issue for the UK. We do not have enough skilled people here. You need skilled people to produce technological goods if you're trying to build up an industry to support wind turbines business, you need really good trained and well skilled workers."

 

And he said there was plenty that could be done by government in terms of legislation or incentives to stimulate use of small scale renewables, such as the "feed-in tariffs" which are coming in to force in the UK in April to pay people for the electricity they generate.

 

He pointed to other parts of Europe, where building regulations require a certain percentage of a new house's energy to come from renewables such as solar power or heat pumps. While growth in Bosch's heat pump market was in triple figures in the UK, small-scale renewables were still struggling to get off the ground, he said, warning there was "no real encouragement" for the technologies here.

 

And he said: "People do not like to invest so much in housing technology but more in size and how their house is looking." But with households a major source of pollution, he said there were many things that could be done to reduce emissions from households, ranging from insulation and construction of buildings to heating and household appliances.

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