Making the announcement at the RenewableUK annual Offshore Wind conference in Manchester this week, the MP said Labour will also drive the offshore wind industry forward if it wins the next election in 2015.

Greatrex said: “Labour will continue to push for a 2030 target as it’s absolutely crucial to give the renewable energy sector long term certainty.

“Today I can announce that if we don’t get that target set in the Energy Bill, it will be in Labour’s manifesto for the next General Election,” he added.

Commenting on the announcement RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery, said: “This announcement by the Shadow Energy Minister at our conference is very welcome, as it demonstrates a clear commitment to clean up the way we generate electricity as early as possible.

“RenewableUK hopes that all political parties will appreciate the necessity for this, so that a cross-party consensus can be reached swiftly to set a 2030 decarbonisation target. This would send a strong signal to the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, and crucially to investors, to press ahead with projects as a matter of priority,” she added.

Last week an attempt to introduce an amendment to the Energy Bill, setting a 2030 decarbonisation target, was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons.

The anticipated defeat saw a narrow win by the Government with 290 MPs voting against the target and 267 voting for it.

However, an attempt will be made to re-introduce the amendment in the House of Lords. The Government’s current position is that the issue should be re-examined in 2016, after the next election.

Also attending the conference, Energy Minister Michael Fallon announced that the Government will be forming an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation, with the aim of increasing the levels of inward investment to the offshore wind sector in the UK.

In addition to this, Fallon told delegates that he recognised the need of investors to have a stable, long-term policy framework for years to come and the importance of offshore wind to the future economy on the UK.

Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.”

Leigh Stringer

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