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Thursday 26th April 2012 | 00:01
No 10 Press Release
The Prime Minister will attend a roundtable meeting of international Energy Ministers today as part of the Clean Energy Ministerial in Central London today, to make the case for clean energy in the UK and around the world.
Speaking to Energy Ministers from 23 leading economies, the Prime Minister is expected to say:
"There are huge challenges facing governments across the world today, and one of the most important of all is how we meet our growing energy demands in a way that protects our planet for our children and grandchildren.
"With global demand forecast to increase by more than 40 per cent in the next two decades, we urgently need a more diverse, cleaner mix of energy sources that will give us energy security without causing irreparable damage to the planet.
"Renewables are now the fastest growing energy source on the planet. And I am proud that Britain has played a leading role at the forefront of this green energy revolution.
"Britain has gone from virtually no capacity for renewables, to seeing them provide almost 10 per cent of our total electricity needs last year. And we’ve added more capacity for renewables in the last two years than at any time in the last decade.
"Our commitment and investment in renewable energy has helped to make renewable energy possible. Now we have a different challenge. We need to make it financially sustainable."
Dedicating much of his remarks to how the renewable energy sector can move from its strong position today to become a truly global industry, the Prime Minister will speak about collaboration between government and business to drive down costs, the need to develop a global carbon price and the importance of enhanced international trading.
The Prime Minister will highlight that between April 2011 and February 2012 investment announcements to the value of £4.7 billion and supporting 15,000 jobs have been made in UK renewable energy and its supply chain. The Prime Minister will welcome further industry announcements today, including a major new contract let by EON for its Humber Gateway offshore wind farm, investment by JDR Cables in a significant expansion of its facility in Hartlepool and the progression of three biomass and wind projects in the UK representing £350m of investment and as many as 800 jobs at the peak of construction.
The Prime Minister will also announce a new industry partnership bringing together key players with an interest in making the most of the North Sea’s renewable energy resource. More than twenty firms based in several different countries have already signed up to a shared vision to create a major new renewable energy power centre in the North Sea and to maximise the significant opportunities that come with it. Early signatories include major offshore wind developers (such as Scottish Power, Dong, Mainstream, Statoil and Statkraft); manufacturers (such as Siemens, Gamesa, Alstom, Areva), as well as a wide range of supply chain companies (such as TAG Energy Solutions, JDR Cables and David Brown Gear Systems). Under the provisional name of Norstec, which takes inspiration from the Desertec solar initiative, this brings together key players who recognise the enormous opportunity offered by the North Sea. This network will come together around the time of the June RenewableUK conference on global offshore wind to confirm in more detail how the new partnership will operate.
Energy investments set to be confirmed today include: