Wind projects boost could bring 70 000 jobs

The government has announced moves aimed at creating up to 70,000 new jobs through a £60m improvement to ports to boost offshore wind projects.

The Prime Minister said the potential for Britain to lead the world in the offshore wind industry was "immense", especially as thousands of turbines would be needed in the next decade.

David Cameron told the CBI annual conference in London: "Manufacturing these needs large factories, which have to be on the coast, yet neither the factories nor the large port sites exist and that, understandably, is putting off private investors,"

"To help secure private sector investment we're providing up to £60m to meet the needs of offshore wind infrastructure at our ports."

Cameron said 70,000 jobs could be created, adding that the Crown Estate was working with ports and manufacturers to support the development of offshore wind manufacturing capacity.

Meanwhile, three companies - GE, Siemens and Gamesa, announced plans to invest in offshore wind manufacturing.

Siemens said it was well on track to build its UK wind turbine factory ready for 2014, creating around 700 new jobs, GE reaffirmed its plan to invest £100m to develop offshore wind turbine manufacturing facilities in the UK and Gamesa said it would open a research and development centre for offshore technology and build a manufacturing plant, and base the global headquarters of its offshore division in London, creating more than 1,000 jobs, with another 800 jobs generated indirectly at local supplier firms.

Vince Cable, Business Secretary said: "It is very positive news that three major players in the offshore wind industry, GE, Siemens and Gamesa, have plans to come to the UK and invest in manufacturing. The government's approach to growth and investment is the right one.

"Renewable technology is a priority for this government, and I am delighted that foreign investors also recognise our commitment to environmentally sustainable growth.

"The global market for low-carbon goods and services is expected to rise to over £4tr by the middle of the next decade. We are already the sixth largest market for low-carbon economic goods and services so we are well placed in this sector."

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