Hutton announces new Office for Renewable Energy Deployment

September 11, 2008 at 8:39 am | Posted in Climate change, Environment, Global warming | Leave a comment
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UK gets new renewables department

UK, September 11, 2008. UK Secretary of State John Hutton has announced a new Office for Renewable Energy Deployment.

The office, which should be up and running in the spring of 2009, pending the outcome of the Renewable Energy Strategy consultation, will address “barriers to renewables deployment including helping to develop the UK supply chain”. Launched as part of UK Government’s new framework for UK manufacturers, the initiative will reportedly aim to help UK firms take advantage of “opportunities opened up by the move towards a low carbon economy” with the express aim of helping UK’s renewables industries “to become world-leaders in green technologies”.

Maria McCaffery, ceo of the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA ) said, “when it comes to R&D, the UK has been leading the world in areas such as wave and tidal, large turbine testing and small systems. But we have seen delays on deployment and this is where we hope the Government’s new initiative will make a difference. We are pleased that the Secretary of State has firmly backed a dedicated task force which will take a lead on this issue.”

However, in welcoming the initiative BWEA also pointed out that since the office will be located within the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, it could fail to address the lack of co-ordination between various Government departments including DEFRA, DCLG and the MOD, all of which have a stake in the deployment of renewables. BWEA is calling for the creation of a Government sub-committee to co-ordinate efforts to deliver the 2020 targets across all Government Departments.

Recent reports suggest that a drive to achieve EU 2020 targets of sourcing 15% of UK’s energy from renewables could create 160 000 ‘green collar’ jobs. The framework named ‘New Challenges, New Opportunities’ aims to kick start the process by implementing a host of ideas aimed at UK manufacturers including new Manufacturing Technology Centers, apprenticeship schemes and school campaigns. “

The wind, wave and tidal sector is poised for spectacular growth. We now have over 6GW of wind farm capacity approved and waiting to be deployed, with wave and tidal, and small systems expected to significantly contribute to achieving our 2020 targets. The Government initiative has come not a moment too soon,” concluded McCaffery.

In other news, the Renewable Energy Trade Promotion Service (RETPS) has been renamed UK Renewables in recognition of its wider remit. The UK Government service, which raises the profile of the UK renewables industry internationally, has significantly expanded its support of the supply chain in the UK, particularly in wind.

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