General Electric to invest €340m in European wind power
American energy giant General Electric has announced plans to invest €340m in northern Europe's offshore wind sector by 2020.
The investment will be spread between four countries – the UK, Germany, Sweden and Norway – and will focus on manufacture, engineering and services for the sector.
The aim is to develop GE’s next generation of turbine, which at 4-megawatts will be the largest operated by the company and geared specifically towards the needs of offshore generation.
“Offshore wind will play a vital role in meeting the growing global demand for cleaner, renewable energy and has a bright future here in Europe,” said Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco, president of GE International.
“These investments will position us to help develop Europe’s vast, untapped offshore wind resources, while also creating new jobs for both GE and our suppliers.”
The UK’s share of the pie will be around €110m with the country providing the manufacturing base for the project, with some engineering also expected to be carried out in the country.
The investment is expected to create around 1,900 jobs.
It will follow the successful outcome of the UK government’s infrastructure competition, aimed at supporting the development of renewable energy in the country.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: “We’re creating the right conditions and incentives to maximise the potential of our wind resource Now we have another leading player entering the offshore wind market as a result.
“GE’s investment will create new jobs and help the supply chain flourish, reinforcing the UK as the destination for offshore wind investment.”
Norway and Sweden will likely receive €75m and €50m respectively, with operations in the Scandinavian countries geared towards the high-tech end of R&D, creating some 150 jobs.
Germany with its international reputation in the field will see an investment of €105m in a new engineering centre in Hamburg, as well as expansion of its existing manufacturing facilities in Salzbergen.
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