It has just been announced that manufacturing giant Siemens and the UK’s Associated British Ports are to invest a total of £310m in UK wind turbine factories, creating 1,000 jobs at the Green Port facility at Hull, North East England, and Paull, East Yorkshire. Siemens will put up £160m which is double the original investment of £80m for wind turbine production in the UK. Associated British Ports is investing the remaining £150m in the project.
Siemens’ Head of Energy Sector, Michael Suess said the UK “recognises the potential of offshore wind energy“.
He continued: “We invest in markets with reliable conditions that can ensure that factories can work to capacity.”
UK Parliament Energy Secretary Ed Davey added :
“This is great news for Hull, it’s great news for the UK. The British energy policy creates a favourable framework for the expansion of offshore wind energy. In particular, it recognises the potential of offshore wind energy within the overall portfolio of energy production. This deal is excellent news for the people of Hull and the Humber, the UK, the wind industry, and our energy security.”
He added that the UK is: “Backing enterprise with better infrastructure and lower taxes”.
The increased commitment is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs directly, which is 300 more than previously announced. Then there will be additional jobs in construction and through the supply chain. The Green Port facility at Hull will construct, assemble and service the offshore wind turbines, while the second Siemens site in Paull will be used to manufacture the 75-metre rotor blades.
The UK is leading the way on offshore wind farms, but has lost some enthusiasm for the cheaper-to-produce-and-maintain onshore wind farms. However the impetus to meet EU targets and reduce the carbon footprint will require continued effort in both areas.