Cable unveils £50m centre to boost UK offshore renewables
Business secretary Vince Cable has given the UK's offshore renewables sector a boost as he unveiled a £50m national centre for green technologies.
As part of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, technologies for offshore wind, wave and tidal power will be explored, with the aim of "bridging the gap" between university research and full commercialisation.
Headquartered at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, with an operational centre at the National Renewable Energy Centre (NAREC) in the north east of England, the project forms part of a wider government investment in Catapult centres across a plethora of sectors.
The green technologies centre will be managed by theTechnology Strategy Board, and follows a successful consortia bid from the Carbon Trust, Narec and Ocean Energy Innovation. It is expected to have a UK wide remit, with plans in place to build strong links with centres of excellence, such as Wave Hub and the marine energy park in the south west.
Speaking at the launch in Glasgow yesterday (February 9) Mr Cable said: "Our offshore renewable sector can compete on a global scale and has huge potential for growth. If we can harness that we will generate billions of pounds for the economy whilst creating thousands of job opportunities at the same time."
Environmental group WWF welcomed the move with its Scotland's director Dr Richard Dixon, saying it is "vital that we begin to fully tap into the massive renewable energy potential lying out at sea and along our coastline" in order to reduce carbon emissions.
He added: "Given the huge renewable energy potential around our coast, and the strong skills in offshore engineering, offshore renewables offers a fantastic opportunity for this country to create jobs and build a zero-carbon economy."
Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay agreed, saying it brings together the "best of British skills and experience".