What the UK lacks in size it is certainly making up for in innovation with Britain planning to look seaward in terms of green energy investment.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that over 20 companies have pledged to transform the country’s North Sea into a major renewable energy production hub.
Britain’s success with offshore wind turbines in recent years has paved the way for this new green energy move, with major companies such as Siemens standing behind the plan.
“This (will) make the North Sea again a source of investment … (It) has the potential to lead the world in offshore wind and carbon capture and storage,” says Cameron.
The initiative, labeled Norstec, will be fully revealed this June.
Not only does the country plan on generating energy in the North Sea zone, it also plans on storing it. Britain is currently aiming for a 2020 target of an 18 gigawatt offshore wind power capacity. This energy is slated to be stored the sea floor using carbon capture and storage technology.
However, renewable energy providers are not the only companies looking to the North Shore for energy investment. Interest in developing the North Sea oil and gas fields have increased at a record rate. At present there are 224 company licences pending for the exploration of 418 blocks of underwater space.
The UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry says the increased interest in the North Sea means increased nationwide monetary gain.
“There remains an extraordinary level of interest in North Sea oil and gas, and it is tremendous news for industry and for the UK economy,” says Hendry.
While it may be good for the country economically, the environmental detriment of this backflip in investment focus is still very much apparent. With the Prime Minister strongly backing clean energy investment, it would seem the large stimulus in the country’s latest budget for North Sea investment promises to promote exactly the opposite.
By Tim Moore