Investment in wind power fails to match rhetoric

Following the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday (6 October), in which he declared the UK Government’s intention to invest £160 million in offshore wind, the Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley expresses doubt that the country’s leaders will put their money where their mouths are.

Wind turbines
Wind turbines
Lidia Creech

The Prime Minister announced yesterday (6 October) at a Conservative Party conference that the UK Government ‘has decided to become a world leader in low-cost clean power generation’. 

Promising a £160 million investment in ports and factories to build wind turbines, the Prime Minister stated that the UK’s energy future lies in offshore wind. The plan is intended to create 2,000 jobs in construction and support 60,000 in other sectors. 

The Conservative leader maintained that by 2030, ‘offshore wind will power every home in the country’.   

Though welcoming the direction of travel, the Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley has expressed doubt that the government is sufficiently committed.

“For decades, Greens have been arguing that the UK is ideally placed to become a world leader in onshore and offshore windpower,” says Bartley.

“But we have battled opposition from Conservative MPs locally and nationally as they sheltered their fossil fuel friends. Johnson’s support for wind power suggests that the transition to green energy is now irreversible.

“However, the level of investment proposed by the Prime Minister is nowhere near matching his rhetoric. The £160 million for wind power announced today falls far short of the £48 billion that analysts say is necessary. The Government needs to set out where this investment will come from.

“And we need to connect the support for wind farms with an industrial strategy that means the jobs making the blades and towers of the wind farms are made in the UK. An economic and industrial conversion on this scale is what Greens mean by building back better.”

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said: "Investment in offshore wind is welcome. For far too long, UK companies have been blocked by a lack of government support.

"But the Prime Minister's announcement falls woefully short of a comprehensive Green New Deal that would actually build a better, greener Britain."