I have welcomed the news announced today (07 March 2019) that the landmark announcement of a Sector Deal with the UK Government. The agreement will help to create tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs across the UK and attract billions of pounds in investment to the country.
This is the first Sector Deal for a renewable energy technology. It puts offshore wind at the centre of the nation’s clean, affordable and reliable energy system, almost quadrupling our capacity from 7.9 gigawatts now to at least 30GW by 2030, generating one-third of our electricity.
The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind, with more capacity than any other country, the biggest offshore wind farms and the most powerful turbines. The supply chain extends to every part of the country, most notably Mostyn in the constituency, and UK companies are already exporting our offshore wind products and services to more than 20 countries. With the Sector Deal now in place, those exports are set to increase fivefold in value to £2.6billion a year by 2030.
The Sector Deal builds on the UK’s success, notably by the industry investing up to £250million to develop the UK supply chain, increasing productivity and fostering innovation.
The Welsh Government is working to ensure that new offshore wind sites are secured in the future and have completed in December 2018. This report provides a baseline evidence for Wales and we can now consider how to foster a sustainable industry going forward.
Mostyn is one of the most important sites in the UK for offshore wind. It ensures that our highly trained workforce can access one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world to provide maintenance and installation for new technology. The new Sector Deal for offshore is a long time coming, but I welcome it and its predicted impact for our local economy.
With the UK experiencing record breaking high temperatures in February, the United States witnessing artic blasts on a scale unseen in living memory and developing nations struggling with extreme drought and flooding it is clear that climate change is a clear and present danger to our planet. If we don’t act now we will leave the planet in disarray for the next generation.
We need to implement more green policies if we are to reach a carbon free economy by the mid-part of the 21st century. Offshore wind will play a key role in this, but we also need investment in a broad range of low-carbon and carbon neutral technologies such as solar, tidal lagoon and hydro-electric. The UK Government need to build upon this Sector Deal for offshore and support the Welsh Government in building the tidal lagoons in Swansea Bay and Colwyn Bay. We cannot allow our climate to be destroyed.