Prime Minister’s Norstec group to boost growth with wind energy

A network group of organisations, aiming to set out a long-term vision and the economic opportunities for the deployment of offshore wind in the northern seas, will hold its first meeting today.

Organisations will include leading manufacturers, cutting-edge developers, supply-chain firms, researchers and industry-bodies.

The new network, called Norstec, was first announced by the Prime Minister at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April and brought together around 20 companies.

The network is holding its first full meeting in London centred around the role that norstec can play in maximising the potential of the northern seas’ abundant resources.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “As I said when I launched this network last April we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”

Norstec will communicate the scale of the opportunity and the benefits of clean energy in Europe’s northern seas to the public and the business and political domains.

The aim of the meeting will be to collaborate and share information to ensure that the benefits offered by vast clean energy potential in the Northern Seas are fully realised.

Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: “The offshore wind industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re-energising once thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond.

“I am determined that we work closely with North Seas governments, businesses and academics to make the most of our plentiful offshore renewable resources. Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe,” he said.

CEO of RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries, Maria McCaffery, said: “The UK is leading the development of wind energy and is well-placed to benefit in terms of jobs and investment from this initiative”.

McCaffery added that last month nearly 11% of electricity supplied to the National Grid came from wind, while the launch of three new offshore wind farms increased the UK’s offshore wind capacity to 2.5 gigawatts, enough electricity to power 1,800,000 homes.

She said: “With continued momentum such as the Norstec Network, we expect that wind energy will transform our economy too.”

Leigh Stringer

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