A GOVERNMENT shift-change in its support for wind farms was today described as “excellent news for Hartlepool”.
News has emerged that the Government now wants to prioritise offshore wind farms for subsidies over onshore sites.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey announced details of a package he said would deliver record levels of investment in green energy by 2020.
Additional investments of around £40 billion are expected in renewable electricity generation projects over the next few years.
Colin Griffiths, a business consultant based at Stranton Business Centre, said Hartlepool was ready to respond to a growing green energy market.
“When you look at some of the facilities that we have, the whole of our coastline is ideally suited for this. This announcement has to be good news for some of our businesses,” he added.
The current 20 gigawatts (GW) of renewables capacity could double by 2020, with almost 11GW of offshore and onshore wind with planning consent awaiting construction.
Mr Davey said investors were “queueing up” to play a part in a green UK.
Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander said: “It’s about getting the best value for money for the consumer as well as making sure that offshore wind, which has such a huge potential to contribute to our economy and to be part of meeting our future energy needs, has the commitment and support that it needs.”
In August this year, Hartlepool was namechecked when the Government produced its Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, with leading firms JDR Cables and Heerema both mentioned.
Ahead of the strategy launch, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Britain must “put the foot down on the accelerator” in developing renewable energy, arguing the sector has the potential to create 30,000 jobs and add £7 billion to the UK economy by 2020.
Hartlepool was the base earlier this year for workers on the 27-turbine Teesside Offshore Windfarm.
More than 100 people were involved in the project at the height of its development.
Town officials have also previously said that they want Hartlepool to become a hub for renewable energy businesses.